Haemulidae – Sweetlip

Sweetlips belong to the family of Haemulidae. They are classified in the genus Plectorhinchus, and the Grunts that are available in the aquarium trade are classified in the genus Anisotremus. Sweetlips are closely related to Snappers. Sweetlips species get their name from their large, fleshy lips. Most Sweetlips are found throughout the Indo-Pacific region.  Sweetlips are most commonly associated with coral reefs or rocky areas. In an aquarium, Sweetlips and its close cousin Grunts average six inches in size. However, in the wild, the largest member of this family reaches over two feet.

Sweetlips species go through a change in coloration and pattern from the juvenile to adult phases. Sweetlips are often seen in small groups or as solitary individuals. The diet of members of this family comprises worms, zooplankton, and small crustaceans. Sweetlips adapt to the aquarium setting well, though special care is required for some species to feed.

Common NameScientific Name
Oriental sweetlips (Juvenile)Plectorhinchus orientalis 
Oriental sweetlips (Adult)Plectorhinchus orientalis 
Harlequin sweetlips (Juvenile)Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides 
Harlequin sweetlips (Adult)Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides 
Painted sweetlips (Juvenile)Diagramma pictum   
Painted sweetlips (AdulDiagramma pictum

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