Opistognathus aurifrons

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Common Name/s: Yellowhead / Pearly Jawfish
Maximum Adult Size: 10cm
Natural Distribution: Western Central Atlantic: southern Florida, USA and Bahamas to Barbados and northern South America
Depth Range: usually 3 – 40m
Species Notes & Captive Care Notes: The Yellowheaded or Pearly Jawfish is probably the most popular among hobbyists. Historically the most commonly imported species, they are resilient to stress, attractive in appearance and usually fairly inexpensive. Originating from the waters of South Florida to Northern South America this species reaches a maximum size of 10cm (4 inches). Although small ornamental shrimp may be consumed, in most cases they will not bother invertebrates. Living in colonies in the wild, when spawning, the male will hover in the open water and spread his fins wide and arch his body to attract a female. He also gapes with his large mouth, perhaps to advertise his mouth-brooding prowess. As discussed the main article, provide at least a 10cm (4 inch) deep mixed-grade substrate, plenty of rubble (5-10mm size range), suitable tank-mates and cover the tank completely. Although not sexually dimorphic, it may be possible to introduce multiple specimens to establish a colony in a tank large enough. Actually, this species has been spawned many times in captivity and the fry have even been raised with enriched rotifers and baby brine shrimp.

IUCN page with zoomable range map

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