Updated August 6, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
The Yellowhead Jawfish is a wonderful looking fish with a bright yellow head and a white or light blue body. It likes to burrow in the substrate and prefers a deeper sand bed with crushed coral and various grades of sand, at least 3 to 5 inches. They have the incredible ability to quickly dart back into their burrow tail first when spooked. You usually won't see them swimming around alot. They like to hang vertically above the burrow or in the burrow with only their yellow heads poking out. It's really neat to see a colony of them in a tank hanging vertically above their holes watching you.
They should do well with other peaceful marine fish and you should be able to keep multiple yellow jawheads in the same tank, provided that there is enough territory for each. However, the different jawfish species may not co-exist peacefully in the same tank. They have been known to jump out of tanks when first introduced, so you'll need a good tight fitting hood with no possible escape points.
The Yellowhead Jawfish is primarily a carnivore and need meaty foods in their diet. At first, you may need to deposit the food near the burrow opening to entice them to eat. After they become acclimated they may become less shy and may come out of the burrow to eat. Be warned, they may nip at and eat small crustaceans.
They seem to be fairly disease resistant but you still need to take proper pre-cautions and use a quarantine tank before introducing them into your main tank.
Yellowhead Jawfish Care
Scientific Name : Opistognathus aurifrons
Common Names : Yellowhead jawfish, Pearly Jawfish
Yellow Head Jawfish Care Level : Easy to Moderate
Size : Up to 4 inches (10 cm), sometimes slightly larger
Life span : 5 years or longer
pH : 8.1 - 8.4
Temperature : 75°F - 82°F (25°C - 28°C)
Specific Gravity : 1.020 - 1.025
Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 - 12°
Origin / Habitat : Bahamas, Caribbean, Western Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico
Yellow-head Jawfish Temperament / Behavior : They should be kept with peaceful tank mates. You can keep multiples in the same tank. Take your time getting them acclimated to your tank.
Breeding : These fish are mouth brooders, meaning that the males incubate the eggs in their mouths. It has been bred in captivity.
Aquarium Size : 30 gallon (114 liters) minimum
Yellow-head Jawfish Tank Mates : Use caution when selecting tank mates. Avoid keeping them with larger more aggressive saltwater species. Multiples can be kept in the same tank.
Reef Tank Compatible? : Possibly, watch closely because they may nip at smaller crustaceans and smaller hermit crabs.
Diet / Foods : Primarily carnivorous, try to give them a variety of marine foods. They should accept vitamin enriched flake foods, frozen and definitely live foods.
Tank Region : Usually bottom, inside substrate and sometimes directly above their burrow.
Gender : Males will mouth brood the eggs.
Photo Credit : Photos copyright JJPhoto.dk