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Opistognathus aurifrons
Yellowhead Jawfish, Pearly Jawfish

 Age of Aquariums > Saltwater Fish > Yellowhead Jawfish - Opistognathus aurifrons

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Opistognathus_aurifrons_1.jpg (33kb)
Photo Credit: Mike

Name: Opistognathus aurifrons
Size BehaviorReef
Origin: Caribbean
10 cm Peaceful Safe


The Yellowhead Jawfish requires a minimum of 8 cm of mixed substrate, in which is will create its burrow. When initially added to the aquarium, the jawfish will be extremely shy. Mine dug a hole the first night and I didn't see him for a week. I thought he jumped out of the aquarium because jawfish are known to jump out of the tank, especially during the first night. I lucked out though, and eventually the jawfish established a burrow in the middle of the tank where everyone can see him.

My jawfish eats frozen mysis shrimp very well, but does not eat like a pig as other fish do. This makes him the perfect fish for his tank because he shares a tank with two seahorses and one pipefish, all of which require lots of food. This basically implies that the jawfish eats well, but he still leaves plenty of food for the seahorses and pipefish to munch on.

The Yellowhead Jawfish is an extremely peaceful fish. My jawfish does not bother any new tankmates that are added after him, nor does he show any form of aggression to current inhabitants. He is very playful. When people go up to the tank, initially he'll hide in his hole, but then he'll come out and swim towards the front of the tank to greet his guests. When my hand is in the tank, generally he either stays in his burrow or surprisingly, he sometimes comes and swims between my fingers. He's a very soft fish to touch.

If you have a deep enough substrate and a covered tank, this fish would be an excellent addition. They're hardy, very easy to care for, and they're friendly. Even though I keep mine alone with the seahorses and pipefish, jawfish apparently do well in pairs and even in groups. If you have a big enough tank to support many of them without them quarreling, they will make a magnificent display.

Contributed by Mike

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