The candy cane hogfish of the Terelabrus genus are curious and colorful reef fish with the potential to be an awesome reef aquarium inhabitant. With a body shape and size fallin halfway between a wrasse and a hogfish, the candy hogfish is small in stature but makes up for it with great personality and a very interesting pattern. Red and white parallel lines run down the length of the candy hogfish’s body with a girdle of yellow coloration framing the head. When they mature larger Terelabrus may have the yellow head and face adornments intensify in coloration with the yellow coloration becoming more intense and perhaps becoming highlighted with subtle blue markings.
Since candy cane hogfish are rare and somewhat shy they are much less often seen than their popular and showy fairy wrasse counterparts but we’d make the case that Terelabrus hogfish are actually better invetments of time, money and emotion. Like other hogfish the candy cane hog is pretty durable although the red and white striped Terelabrus are shy and may take some coaxing to begin eating aquarium fare. However, once you get your candy cane hogfish acclimated to its aquarium life you will be rewarded with a fish that lives longer and is much less aggressive than large fairy wrasses and other classic hogfish of the genus Bodianus.
The particular individual of Terelabrus hogfish pictured belongs to Tony Vargas who learned first hand how personable this little known fish can become. These images and film were made earlier in the year when the hogfish was still a fresh aquarium specimen but we got a look at it just a few weeks ago and Tony should rename it butterball. WIth both Mr. Vargas and various members of his family taking time to feed this candy cane ‘puppy dog’ of a fish the once rail thin Terelabrus is about twice as thick, and incredibly inquisitive and trained to lookout for food coming beyond the glass.
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