Cirrhilabrus jordani Snyder, 1904
These wrasses live in haremsnumerous
females dominated by a single maleusually at depths over 100 feet
on rubble bottoms. They feed on plankton and unlike most wrasses swim
by rippling their soft dorsal fin. Initial phase fishes (females) are
scarlet on the back, pinkish red on the sides (appearing grayish at depth).
Terminal males are scarlet and yellow. Males engage in spectacular territorial
and sexual displays, standing on their tails, flaring their fins and flashing
bright lines along the body. Flame Wrasses are common on some dives off
O`ahu's west shore and also at Molokini Island. They make excellent aquarium
fishes (one male only to a tank) but may be inactive for several days
when first introduced. They secrete a mucus cocoon at night. Keep them
with peaceful fishes such as pygmy angelfishes. Named for American ichthyologist
David Starr Jordan (1851-1932). To 4 in. Endemic. Photo: male. Molokini
Island. 80 ft.