Latticed Sandperch - Parapercis clathrata - Large
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The Latticed Sandperch (Parapercis clathrata) is light tan with dark spots along the sides and along the edge of the anal fins. Juveniles will have spots on the gill covers and adult males will have a dark round eyespot behind the head.
The Sandperches (family Pinguipedidae, mostly genus Parapercis) are hardy, active marine fish often overlooked by aquarists. While they may not have flashy neon colors, they are very interactive with their surroundings and are easy to feed and care for. This group of fish are bottom-dwellers related to gobies and blennies and can often be found - as their name suggests - perching on the substrate or rockwork, waiting for a meal (very similar to the more popular Hawkfish). Their elongated bodies and pointed heads allow them to dart around the tank quickly and get into small crevices and caves to hide as well as seek their food, and their cryptic coloration often allows them to blend in very well to their surroundings.
Sandperches are not picky eaters. They will accept most meaty foods like brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, clam, scallops, fishflesh and other foods, and may eat pellets and flakes with time. They will not bother corals aside from any irritation their perching may cause, but they may prey on small fish or crustaceans like shrimp or crabs. As with other bottom-dwellers, they are fairly territorial and should not be kept with other bottom-dwellers like gobies, blennies or hawkfish without plenty of territory to avoid aggression. Sandperches can be skittish and may jump from the aquarium if threatened; a lid or canopy is recommended.
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