Scientific name: Thalassoma pavo
Common name: Ornate Wrasse
Species: T. pavo
Description: This fish lives in salt water and is very much appreciated as it is one of the most colorful of the Mediterranean Sea.
Tapered body, massive head, small mouth. Unique dorsal fin with rays of the same height. The female reaches 18 cm while the male is 25 centimeters.
There are more varieties, such as the Thalassoma pavo unimaculata that lives in colder waters and has a dark dorsal spot, while the belly is reddish. The head has purple areas.
Thalassoma pavo torquata, larger than the previous one, prefers hottest areas, has gorgeous bright and contrasting colors on the head, between cyan and blue to red. It is recognized by a vertical strip of red and blue that divides the head from the body.
TheThalassoma pavo lineolata has a body free of violet spots and of the typical black spot, showing only a greenish coloration of the scales and some mild red vertical stripe.
Coloring: It has a beautiful and extraordinary livery of a greenish-yellow golden color, tending to orange, with stains on the head of a blue color, 5 vertical streaks of the same color, a black circular spot between the second and the third band. Coloring can vary greatly depending on the variety. When still young the body is completely green, with the black spot on the back.
Behavior: Lively, active swimmer behavior. T. pavo unimaculata prefers lamb-life while the other two varieties live alone.
It is a curious fish, it is easily attracted by moving the mud from the bottom. Sometimes very territorial with specimens of the same species.
Hemphroditic proterogenic, female born and after a few years becomes male, changing the coloration to completely lose the blue bands and the adult black spot.
Habitat: It prefers the backdrops illuminated between about 20 meters deep but can reach up to 100 meters, and it is often found among the prairies of Posidonia oceanica.
Temperature: Ideal between 18 and 22 ° C and above. PH: 8 Water hardness: 8-11° dH.
Tips for breeding: It is good for aquarium breeding, since it does not have any particular problems, but grows fast and adults (over 7cm) become more territorial than in nature, so the ideal is not too many specimens and in quite big tanks.
We recommend good lighting, hiding places and algae. Some aquarists report it can be grown in aquariums at temperatures even above 22 ° C.
Feed: Exclusively carnivores. Piece of mussels or shrimp.
Diffusion: It is spread in the Mediterranean Sea but also in the eastern Atlantic Ocean from Portugal to the coasts of the Canary Islands and the Azores. Over the last few years, its area has expanded considerably northwards, probably due to the global warming of the Mediterranean Sea.
Swimming Level: Lively fish, swims very willingly.
Reproduction: It takes place between June and July, when the male becomes very active and keeps every intruder away. The eggs are pelagic.
Extinguishing Risk: Not at risk of extinction.