Clown Wrasse

African Clown Wrasse ~ Gaimard Rainbow-wrasse

Family: Labridae Clown Wrasse, African Clown Wrasse or Gaimard Rainbow-wrasse - Coris gaimardiCoris gaimardPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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I've had a juvenile for just over a week and he's turned into my favorite fish. Very active and entertaining. Always searching for food and if startled he quickly... (more)  jeff

   Pictured above is an adult specimen of the Clown Wrasse, African Clown Wrasse, or Gaimard Rainbow-wrasse. The juvenile is much different with a general orange coloration and four white spot markings evenly spaced down the back of the fish.

   The Clown Wrasse, African Clown Wrasse, or Gaimard Rainbow-wrasse are a lively fish. It is best to keep them with hardy companions that don't mind a rambunctious tankmate!

   Because this fish is called a Clown Wrasse or an African Clown Wrasse as well as the Gaimard Rainbow-wrasse, do not mistake it for the Clown Coris or Threespot Wrasse, Coris aygula, which is also often called a Clown Wrasse. They look quite a bit different from each other!

For more Information on keeping this fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium


Geographic Distribution
Coris gaimard
Data provided by FishBase.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Family: Labridae
  • Genus: Coris
  • Species: gaimard
Clown Wrasse adult

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Clown Wrasse (Coris gaimard) adult looking for food

The Clown Wrasse (Coris gaimard) is a lively and attractive fish! As an adult it has a much different look than as a juvenile. The young are a general orange color marked with four white spots evenly spaced down the back. This fish can be great in a reef as they will not pick on corals. But they are a strong and large, 14- 16 inches in size, and have a very active behavior. They will flip anything they are strong enough to flip to look for food, so make sure your corals are snug! They will also need a large tank, 100 gallons or more, and to be fed at least 3 times a day.

Maintenance difficulty:    The Clown Wrasse, African Clown Wrasse, or Gaimard Rainbow-wrasse is easy to keep. Feed young specimens several times a day. Start with brine shrimp, live or frozen, and offer other protein foods as well.

Maintenance:    Feed all kinds of live, frozen, and flake foods. 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 formula for wrasses is Pro-salt marine. They prefer a sandy bottom at least 5 cm deep in order to bury themselves in case of danger and at night to sleep.

Habitat: Natural geographic location:    Clown Wrasse, African Clown Wrasse, or Gaimard Rainbow-wrasse are found in the Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea to Hawaii, Tuamotu, the Marquesas, Japan, and New Caledonia.

Foods:    All kinds of protein foods, formulas and flakes.

Social Behaviors:    These fish may live in groups when young, but as adults they live singly. They prefer mixed bottoms of coral, rubble, and sand on exposed reef terraces, lagoons, and outer reefs.

Sex: Sexual differences:    The male will develop a light green stripe on the body above the anal fin as it gets older.

Light: Recommended light levels:    Prefers lots of light. Usually found in sunlight areas.

Temperature:    No special requirements. Normal temperatures for marine fish is between 74 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Length/Diameter of fish:    Clown Wrasse, African Clown Wrasse, or Gaimard Rainbow-wrasse adults can grow to 40 cm (15.75 inches).

Minimum Tank Length/Size:    A minimum 60 gallon aquarium is recommended.

Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong    No special requirements.

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom    Will spend time in all parts of the aquarium, but mostly near the bottom.

Availability:    This fish is available from time to time.

Lastest Animal Stories on Clown Wrasse

jeff - 2009-11-13
I've had a juvenile for just over a week and he's turned into my favorite fish. Very active and entertaining. Always searching for food and if startled he quickly plunges into the substrate.

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