Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site

Forcipiger flavissimus
Longnose Butterflyfish

 Age of Aquariums > Saltwater Fish

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forcipiger1.jpg (9kb)
Photo Credit: Keith & Lisa

Name: Forcipiger flavissimus
Origin: Indo-Pacific Oceans

Size Behavior Reef
18 cm Peaceful Low Risk


Also known as the Long-Snouted Coralfish or Forcepsfish (Forcipiger longirostris), its long, thin snout enables it to extract food from crevices (in the wild, marine crustaceans). They get up to 18 cm long, and have no visible sexing differences. They are difficult to keep and aggressive, recommended for a species or very large community tank. They enjoy live worm foods. Not for the beginner.

Contributed by a visitor

Unlike the above comment, I have found the Longnose Butterfly very easy to keep. Despite its delicate look, it is quite hardy and can be recommended over most other butterflies. It is peaceful, eats well (mysis shrimp and other frozen foods) and is low risk to reefs.

Contributed by John Holdzkom

John is right about the longnose butterfly being hardy. They are carnivores and do much better with brine and small shrimp. Most are aggressive though, and they grow to a large size. The one I had ate three scarlet reef hermits and harassed my snails. According to Drs. Foster/Smith they are not reef safe, I agree.

Contributed by Brad

I have a longnose butterfly and it is quite peaceful and hardy. The only problem that I found was it was a reef risk, in one night it pulled apart my clam, bubble corals and an elegance coral. Other than that they are friendly and easy to keep.

Contributed by Katie Davie

I have kept these fish for quite a while now in a large community tank. They are NOT aggressive to other fish at all. Extremely peaceful and very easy to keep. They are strong feeders and really enjoy live feeder shrimp, as their deadly beaks can take one out in one strike. They will often hand feed and sleep by floating like a leaf upside down on on their side at the water's surface. A real character and a joy to keep.

Contributed by A. Barrett

My longnose butterfly is the most active member of my tank. He and my copperband butterfly play all day long and when it comes to feeding he is a pig! A must have in any marine set up. Reef safe and very hardy!

Contributed by Matt Wright

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