OldwifeFamily: EnoplosidaeEnoplosus armatusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
Enoplosus armatus is the only species in the family Enoplosidae. This "Oldwife" was a "new" addition to us and we were very excited to be able to enjoy it!. They are rarely available - this is the first one we've been able to get.
The name "Old Wife" was given in reference to the sound it makes by grinding its teeth after it is caught.
The Old Wife is easily recognised by its distinctive shape and colouration. It has a deep body, and two separate dorsal fins, the second fin is sickle-like. The body is silver-white to brown and has six to eight black bands of variable width. Juveniles are more elongate than adults and have a blotched colour pattern and a white-rimmed spot on the soft dorsal fin.
The Oldwife makes a nice addition to the marine aquarium. They are interesting to watch and easy to keep! Dorsal spines carry a poison, we assume it is similar to the lionfish, but this is not confirmed.
For more Information on keeping marine fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium
Maintenance: Feed all kinds of live, frozen, and flake foods. It is best to feed small amounts several times a day. We generally feed squid, shrimp (the same kind people eat), mussels, and all kinds of chopped up fish. A good vegetable formula like Formula II is also beneficial.
Social Behaviors: Juveniles live in estuaries while adults occur in estuaries and on inshore and offshore rocky reefs and seagrass beds. These fish are found either in large schools, in pairs or as solitary individuals. In the aquarium, this fish is sometimes aggressive and sometimes not. Keep an eye on newcomers and established fish in the aquarium.