Black-banded Wrasse (Anampses neoguinaicus)

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Black-banded Wrasse
Anampses neoguinaicus
Black-banded Wrasse (Anampses neoguinaicus)
Name Black-banded Wrasse
Name Lat. Anampses neoguinaicus
Family Wrasses
Family lat. Labridae
Order Wrasses & Relatives
Order lat. Labriformes
Origin Western Pacific
Habitat Coral reefs
Diet Carnivore
pH 8,1-8,4
Hardness 8-10 °KH
Behavior Peaceful
Keeping Pair, harem
Reef Compatible With caution
Care Level Difficult
Life Span N/A
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 20 cm
Temperature 22-28 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium ~ 650 l
US Units
Size 8"
Temperature 72-82 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium ~ 170 gal

Distribution and habitat

The distribution area of Anampses neoguinaicus is the Western Pacific, from the Philippines to New Caledonia and from New Guinea to Tonga. They live there on coral reefs in shallow coastal waters.


They need a well structured aquarium with plenty of swimming space and a reef structure (hiding and covering possibilities) with living stones, which act like a biological filter and whose growth they can graze on, as well as sand areas, from fine, at least 10 cm deep sand (no coral rubble!)

Only calcareous, heavy metal-free sands, gravels, stones or sea sand may be used. Filters, skimmers and heaters are necessary to ensure water quality, as well as pumps to simulate tides, swells and bottom currents. Lighting must be appropriate for the species' day-night rhythm

Salinity: 33-36 ‰ pH value: 8.1-8.4
Carbonate hardness: 8-10 °KH Nitrate content: 2-8 mg/l
phosphate content: 0.01-0.1 mg/l nitrite content: 0.0-0.05 mg/l

For salinity, an average value should be aimed for, which may only vary slightly by +/- 0.5 ‰. Ammonia and ammonium must not be measurable. Special attention must be paid to constantly good water quality.


They feed on small crustaceans, mollusks and plankton. They do not always succeed in changing their diet without problems. The food supply for these slow eaters should consist of a combination of plankton, mysis, shrimp, artemia and cyclops, plus chopped clam, squid and crab meat or a vitamin-enriched frozen food mix. High-quality flake and granulated food is also often accepted after a period of acclimation

It is recommended to feed small portions several times a day. This reduces intra-species aggression and protects lower animals in the aquarium. Regular and varied feeding promotes health and increases resistance.

Behaviour and compatibility

The juveniles, mostly females, live individually. Adult animals, on the other hand, form groups. A group consists of several females and one dominant male. Accordingly, only one male should be kept with one or more females. They behave peacefully towards other fish.

Sex dimorphism

External sexual characteristics are not known. They are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning most males develop from functional females. Females have a black back and pale sides, an eye (ocellus) behind the gill cover, and a purple dorsal fin with one eye.

Reproduction and breeding

There are no known reports of successful breeding in the aquarium.


Overnight and when threatened, they bury themselves in the sandy substrate. Care should be taken when keeping them together with tubeworms, snails and crayfish, as these may be considered food

As reef dwellers, they should be kept together with corals and not in a fish-only aquarium.

If different species are kept together, care should be taken to ensure that the fish match each other in terms of water quality and temperature requirements and social behavior, and that the setup meets the needs of all species kept together. New fish to be introduced must be acclimated slowly to the water in the aquarium

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Werner Winter; Image: Franz Lowak 

Source: KUITER & DEBELIUS (2007): Atlas der Meeresfische: Die Fische an den Küsten der Weltmeere, Kosmos Verlag; ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische, Verlag Harri Deutsch

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF