Pearly jawfish, Opistognathus aurifrons, is a very interesting fish from the Caribbean. The difference between the Pearly and the Yellowhead Jawfish is that the Pearly Jawfish are imported from Haiti and don’t have as bright yellow head as the Florida ones. They are found primarily in sandy bottoms where they live in deep holes that they dig in the sand, so you’ll need to have a couple inches of sand in your tank to accommodate them. If you have a lot of rock in your tank that is not epoxied together, beware that they may excavate the sand from under the rocks possibly causing them to settle and move about.
Pearly jawfish and their Florida counterpart, the yellowhead jawfish, are hardy fish that will add color and diversity to your tank. They will do best on pellet food, but will eat other types of prepared commercial foods, as well as fresh or frozen chopped shrimp, clams, and squid. Many aquarists who keep more than one have had them spawn in their aquariums, and some have even had success rearing the babies. They are mouth brooders, so if you have several and one day notice that one of them (the male) has a ball of eggs in its mouth, then they have started spawning.
These fish are about 3″ long and grow to a maximum of about 4″ long. Be sure to keep your aquarium covered at all times, especially at night because they do tend to jump when startled.
Lillian Bartlett –
I ordered 6 of these little guys a year ago. I received 6 very healthy little jawfish in a netted tube, which made it very easy to acclimate & dip them. They were so tiny & cute! Here it is a year later & all 6 are doing great in my 150! They are such neat fish – they steal shells from each other & are so sneaky about it. I have pictures here http://bartlettphotoart.smugmug.com/Fish/My-Tanks/12849663_Y6ThG (but if the link is not appropriate, just remove it). Thanks for these wonderful fish & your great customer service!
Sharyn Z Wertz –
After having lost my last Jaw in a major tank meltdown several months ago, I was finally able to order two more from Ken/Kara and am pleased beyond words. Although I didn’t order a mated pair, these two have decided on their own to take up housekeeping together. They share a multi-entrance/exit burrow and are seldom more than a few inches apart. These two are also the most adventurous, outdoing Jaws I’ve owned. They spend more time out of their burrow than in it — the larger of the two regularly cruises the front of the tank (120g, 48″x24″x24″), and both dart boldly all over the tank, in and out amongst their tankmates (Flame Angel, Yellow Tang, 2 Yellowtail Damsels, 3 just-added Painted Reef Butterflies from Ken/Kara, and a Caribbean Hawkfish [also from Ken/Kara]), at feeding time.
Ryan Plummer –
Vary cool fish. Likes to dig then gaurd its hole. cover your tank tho! Mine jumped into my sump and got sucked into my pump 🙁