Pseudocheilinus hexataenia PSEHEX-053109-BERAND-001

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 31st, 2009 and is filed under Spawning Reports, Wrasses.

The Breeder’s Registry information contained in this report is taken from submitted observations from aquarist unless noted otherwise (see comments). Information may be reproduced providing the Breeder’s Registry is cited.


Breeder ID: PSEHEX-053109-BERAND-001

Date received: 5/31/09

Identification: Pseudocheilinus hexataenia (Bleeker, 1857)

Geographic origin: Indo-Pacific


Taxonomy: (after I.C.Z.N.)

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata Subphylum: Vertebrata

Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) Infraclass: Teleostei Superorder: Acanthopterygii

Order: Perciformes Suborder: Labridae

Family: Cheilinae (wrasses)

Genus: Pseudocheilinus

Species: hexataenia


Description: The family Cheilinae, commonly referred to as the wrasses, consists of 60 genera and over 500 species. Pseudocheilinus hexataenia, commonly known as the Sixline wrasse, is a diminutive fish sporting a nicely colored orange lined pattern over a brown to bluish background transitioning to a green caudal peduncle and fin. Sixline wrasses are very popular marine aquarium fish often kept by aquarists in reef tanks in the hopes they will eradicate bristle worms. Unfortunately, this is not always the best fish to perform this service. Some aquarists report that the Sixline wrasses are often aggressive toward tank mates many times its size \D0 constantly nipping and harassing other fish. The mouth is small and pointed, ideally suited for eating small, mostly crustacean, prey it finds amongst the coral and live rock. Feeds on numerous small benthic organisms in the wild.


Duration male: 4 months 

Size male (mm): 89 

Duration female: 4 months

 Size female (mm): 38

 Physical differences: Male is larger

 Adult diet: Everything I can find, blendered beyond recognition. At the moment, large parts are table shrimp, swordfish steak off-cuts (because the fish counter guy had just finished trimming and gave them to me), mysis, various seaweeds, broccoli, spinach and lots of other stuff. 

Frequency of feeding(s): 3 – 4 times/day 

Pre-spawning activity: Chase games, female often seems to chase male. 

Area spawning occurred: Near 12 inches or so above highest hiding spot. 

Video of Spawning:

Frequency of spawning: Daily 

Time of spawning: ~8:00 p.m.  

Egg description: Transparent, single oil globule. Floats, but not quite on the water’s surface. They seem to top out an inch or so below the surface. So, I think the upwelling water flow in my barrel is important to get the eggs to the collector. 

Size of eggs: ~800 microns 

Approximate quantity: 218 is the most collected so far in one night. 

Egg Transfer / removal method: Egg collector on broodstock overflow, Pipette to transfer.

Development of Eggs: Here’s a short video of a Sixline wrasse prolarva. It’s still not too far from hatching. You’ll see that the mouth hasn’t developed yet and there’s still part of the yolk sac where the mouth will be. Also, does it look like the heart is in front of the eyes?


Spawning tank size (gallons): 55 

Spawning tank dimensions (LxWxH): 24 in X 24 in x 48 in – Breeder note: I don’t think the extreme depth is as important to this species. Just that you have a good foot or so above the highest point. I’ve seen video of other sixlines spawning who broke the water’s surface when they didn’t quite have enough room.

Sides and back of tank covered? Yes

Color: White 

Filtration: Connected to 1,400 gallon system, with carbon, skimmers, DSB, algae. Short sand bed in the sixline tank. 90 gallon deep sand bed on the rest of the system, plus a deep sand bed in the ~500 gal. display. 

Sea salt used:  Oceanic 

Frequency/Volume of changes: Whole system: 120 gallons/10-14 days. 

Specific Gravity: 1.025 (measured with Refractometer) 

pH: 8.1 – 8.3 (measured with pH controller)

 Nitrates: none detected  

Calcium: ~400 ppm 

Water temperature (F): 80 – 83

Spawning Tank photoperiod: ~14 hours (small Compact Fluorescent and ambient room light)

Other Fishes also in Spawning Tank: Two blue-green chromis as dither fish.

Water Used for saltwater make-up: Kold Ster-il filtered tap water.


 Original description: First described by Bleeker (1857) in Acta Societatis Regiae Scientiarum Indo-Ne\90rlandicae v. 2Holotype (unique) collected at Ambon Island, Moluccas Islands, Indonesia. \A5 Current status: Valid as Pseudocheilinus hexataenia (Bleeker 1857) Labridae. Distribution: Indo-West Pacific. Habitat: marine. (Source: Eschmeyer, W.N. and Fricke, R. (eds.) Catalog of Fishes electronic version (updated 13 Mar. 2009). 

Word origin: The genus Pseudocheilinus is from the Greek roots pseudo meaning like, and cheilos, meaning lip, refers to wrasses. So the name refers to \D2wrasse-like.\D3 Unlike the larger wrasses of the genus Cheilinus, the smaller Pseudocheilinus do not have such a pronounced lip, but this is simply a suggested interpretation. The species hexataenia, of course, means \D2six-lined.\D3

 Vernacular name: Sixline wrasse

 Suggested reading:

Michael, Scott W., A PocketExpert Guide to Marine Fishes: 500+ Essential-To-Know Aquarium Species
, 2001, T.F.H. Publications,  One T.F.H.
Plaza, Third and Union Avenues, Neptune City, NJ 07753, Co-published by
Microcosm Ltd, P.O. Box 550, Charlotte, VT 05445

About this report: Information contained in this report is taken from submitted observations. Taxonomy, Synonomy, Original description , Word origin and Suggested reading are provided by member(s) of The Breeder’s Registry staff. Information is presented under the belief that it is accurate. If you have information in addition to, or contrary to that presented you are encouraged to contact the Breeder’s Registry. Permission is granted for “one-time” personal use. Reproduction as distributed or accessible media is prohibited without prior written permission. All rights reserved. 2009

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