The Eastern Hulafish (Trachinops taeniatus) is a sub-tropical species of fish that is related to the Assessors and Comets. They are very colorful fish with a black stripe running down the middle of their elongate body from the operculum towards the tail. They are red and yellow above the black stripe and their ventral portion is white. Some have iridescent blue scales on the face. As they age, their caudal fin grows into a spade shape, with the males having more exaggerated filaments.
When kept in groups these fish exhibit a unique swimming behavior at an angle which resembles hula dancers. They grow to a maximum size of 4 inches and love to eat small food items such as copepods, artemia, small pellets and flake. They are peaceful fishes that do not harass other species. They enjoy the company of their own species so keeping them in groups of 4 or more individuals is highly recommended. Eastern Hulafish are extremely fast swimmers and are prone to jumping out aquariums so is important that their tank be kept covered.
The Eastern Hulafish is native to the southeast coastline of Australia where the water temperatures average 65 degrees Fahrenheit. While these fish have fared very well in our Florida greenhouses they can exhibit distress in water over 78 degrees. Care should be taken to ensure their aquarium temperature always remains below 78 degrees.