Scientific Name:
Halichoeres chrysus
Other Common Names for the Yellow Coris Wrasse:
Golden Rainbowfish - Golden Wrasse  -  Canary Wrasse


The Yellow Coris Wrasse is widespread throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the central Indo-Pacific, in an area bordered by the Christmas Islands, Indonesia, Japan, New South Wales, the Rowley Shoals, the Tonga Islands, and the Solomon Islands. Their body coloration is bright yellow with a few variations according to age. Juvenile and immature females have two black spots rimmed with white or light yellow on the dorsal fin and a third one at the start of the caudal fin. Mature females or young males only show the two black spots on the dorsal fin. Mature males look more stunning as they display only the first black spot on the front of the dorsal fin, a lighter spot just behind the eye, and the gorgeous addition of irregular greenish to pinkish lines on the face. Yellow Coris Wrasses can reach up to 5 inches and require an aquarium of at least 50 gallons with live rock and a fine sand bed at least 3 inches in depth. They require this sand to hide in and to sleep in.


Yellow Coris Wrasses are carnivores. They need a varied diet consisting of meaty foods, such as brine and mysis shrimp, high-quality frozen foods, flakes, and pellet foods. They will also likely supplement the captive diet by consuming amphipods and copepods if they are present in your tank. This could be a concern if you have other fish, such as dragonets, that will only eat copepods. The great thing about the Yellow Coris Wrasse is that it will also eat flatworms and other pests that you don’t want in your reef. The only issue is that your wrasse can’t tell the difference between a pest and a member of your clean up crew. They may still eat the occasional “good guy invertebrate,” but keeping your wrasse well fed will help keep the peace in your reef.


As stated earlier, this fish can reach up to 5 inches and requires an aquarium of at least 50 gallons. They need room to swim. Like most other wrasses, this wrasse is usually always on patrol, looking for food. When first introduced to a new aquarium, it is not uncommon for them to stay buried for a few days. It will scour the rocks and corals for pests and may pick at algae, while largely ignoring the other residents of the reef. At night, this wrasse will burrow under the sand until morning when it wakes up. The Yellow Coris Wrasse is a sequential hermaphrodite. That means they change sex depending on the social situation in their environment. All Yellow Coris wrasses begin life as females. Without any other males around (or if they manage to become the dominant fish in a tank full of skittish fish), the wrasse will change sex to male. A male can never turn back into a female. Although the Yellow Coris Wrasse is generally considered peaceful, it may act aggressively towards other wrasses and other smaller fish with similar body types. This is especially common if adequate food is lacking or if its environment is too small or overcrowded. This wrasse is known to sometimes harass new tankmates. It is a good idea to add your Yellow Coris Wrasse last. A vibrant, beautiful fish with a little attitude, the Yellow Coris Wrasse is a bold addition to any reef. These wrasses can be housed with other peaceful wrasses.  If you intend to keep fish - especially a wrasse, a netted lid is recommended.

CanaryChrysusHalichoeresLibradaeMarinefishReefchaserWrasseYellow coris

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