Sixline Wrasse: Pseudocheilinus hexataenia

Phylum: Class: Order: Family: Genus: Species:
Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Labridae Pseudocheilinus P. hexataenia

Common Names: Sixline Wrasse, Six Line Wrasse, Six-Line Wrasse, 6-Line Wrasse and any other way to spell “Six Line”

Scientific Name: Pseudocheilinus hexataenia

The Sixline wrasse is a small, attractive member of the wrasse family.  Main part of body is blue with 6 horizontal reddish-gold stripes.  The head and belly may have a purple hue to it and the base of the tail is green.  The eyes have two white horizontal strips through them. The body is robust looking in a healthy specimen and it remains constantly on the move darting in and out of the rocks and coral.

Natural Environment:
Comes from the Indio-Pacific region.

Reef Tank Suitability: 

Sixline wrasses are excellent additions to a reef tank.  Their small size makes them especially suitable for smaller tanks.  They spend the day foraging the live rock looking for food, but never bother corals.  They are a shy species and are normally seen constantly darting in and out of the rock work.  They need plenty of hiding places to feel comfortable. They have been reported to eat the parasitic snails (family Pyramidellidae) that sometimes infest clams as well as some nuisance flatworms.  Large specimens have been reported to eat ornamental shrimps.  I have never witnessed any such behavior in my own tanks.

Their small size, willingness to take prepared foods and disposition make them suitable for small reef tanks.

Very non-aggressive to larger fish.  May occasionally bully and chase smaller fish, especially other wrasses, but usually results in nothing serious.  In the wild, they live in small harem groups with one male and several female.  Several female may be kept in a tank if adequate space is provided, but only one male.

Will constantly feed off the live rock during the day searching for copopods and similar small fare .  They also take most small meaty foods such as brine shrimp, mysid shrimp, bloodworms and meaty frozen food preparations.

Very hardy once acclimated.

Does well within normal reef tank temperature ranges of approximately 74-84°F.

Sixline Wrasse can get up to about 3″ in length.

All specimens are wild caught  as Sixline Wrasse are not captive breed at this time.

Header photograph courtesy of Brian Gratwicke.  All other photos b y ReefCorner and all rights reserved.