Species group: Wrasses
Other common names: Guinea Fowl Wrasse, Yellow Spotted Wrasse, Black Wrasse
Scientific name: Macropharyngodon meleagris
The Black Leopard is an active fish that swims with a purpose and tends to forage rocks for food. Healthy Leopards slowly search every rock for food. It is extremely predictable, waking up at the same time each day. Unlike other Leopards, The Black Leopard rarely forms harems, and tends to move alone. It loves to bury itself in sand, probably to escape from predators. The Black Leopard can be found burrowing in the same spot everyday.
The Black Leopard Wrasse or the Guinea Fowl Wrasse is very striking with its characteristic spotted leopard patterns. It is whitish to greenish with irregular green spots. All Leopard Wrasses are born female. If there is no male around, the female changes sex along with the coloration. The pelvic fins are short.
Black Leopards are quite difficult to maintain in captivity, which only few experienced aquarists are able to do. The aquarium needs to be at least of 50 gallons and 4 feet long because the Black Leopard requires a lot of swimming space. It is suited to a reef tank with a sand bed at least 3 inches deep. Live rock can be added to the tank; the Black Leopard likes to hunt and forage micro-crustaceans that live on rocks. Additional micro-crustaceans can be added to replenish the tank. As with all Wrasses, a tank lid is necessary.