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Red Coris Wrasse


Red Coris Wrasse female stage, Coris gaimard
sub-adult female

The Red Coris originates from southeast Asia and the central Pacific.  It is also known as the Yellowtail Coris.  The most distinctive feature of this fish is the changes in appearance that it progresses through from juvenile to adult.  Juveniles are a solid red color with several white black-rimmed saddles along the dorsal rim.  As it changes to adult, all young develop as females with tiny blue spots over the entire body against a black background and then develop bright yellow tails.  The head develops green lines against a red face.  In the adult stage, males develop with a dark gray coloration and a barely noticeable green vertical bar behind the gills.  Some specimens turn more orange.  Females end up mainly a dark blue fringed in red.

Red Coris Wrasse juvenile, Coris gaimard

In the wild, the Red Coris feeds mainly on mollusks and crabs.  They should be fed at least twice a day and the diet should include quality flakes as well as frozen foods such as shrimp.  They are aggressive feeders, so make sure your other fish are also getting sufficient quantities.  A sandy substrate should be provided, with adequate depth to burrow into.  The family Labridae that they belong to refers to their frequent use of their mouth to manipulate their environment.  The tank should be at least 75 - 100 gallons.  Make sure the tank is covered as they are good jumpers.

Red Coris Wrasse male, Coris gaimard

Red Coris do not ship well, so resist the urge to buy a newly arrived magnificent looking young adult.   Wait to see how it fairs, as it does adapt well in captivity after adjusting from transport.  Online shippers don't guarantee red coris shipments.  Red Coris Juveniles are much harder to keep than adults.  They have not been bred in captivity.  Adult size is greatly reduced in captivity.

Red Coris Wrasse adult, Coris gaimard
Red Coris Wrasse female stage, Coris gaimard

Red Coris Wrasse male, Coris gaimard

Red Coris Wrasse subadult, Coris gaimard

Scientific Name: Coris gaimard
Family: Labridae
Care: Difficult
Temperature: 22 - 26 C; 72 - 79 F
pH: 8.1 - 8.4
dH: 8 - 12
Specific Gravity: 1.020 - 1.025
Size: 40 cm; 16 inches
Breeding: Egg Layer
Life Span: years
Crustacean Safe: No
Coral Safe: No


Best to keep only one Coris gaimard in the tank.  Suitable tank mates include Dwarf Angelfish, Blennies, Boxfish, Butterflies, Clownfish, Damselfish, Hawkfish and Rabbitfish