Fun Lyretail Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Lyretail Facts For Kids

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Do you adore fish? Would you like to add more to your fish tank? There are many fish species suitable to keep in tanks, and one of them is the lyretail fish species. Lyretail anthias are scientifically known as Pseudanthias squamipinnis. They are species of anthias fish and they are also the social butterfly of any marine aquarium! They are very active fish who always give their best when kept in groups of some specific species. If they are kept in an aquarium the tank size should be at least 125 gal (568.3 L). These fish always occupy the middle of the aquarium and hiding places are made if they need.

A male lyretail should be kept with a group of several females; they should not be kept alone. When they are shifted to a new aquarium they should be fed with a varied diet including the Mysis shrimp and the frozen brine shrimp. They can also sometimes be provided with high-quality enriched flake food to keep them active and healthy. They have a semi-aggressive temperament and are totally reef comfortable. Many people keep them in tanks as pets as they are aquarium friendly and look quite adorable.

For more relatable content, check out these Patagonian toothfish facts and clown triggerfish facts for kids.

Fun Lyretail Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Crustacean larvae and fish eggs

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

Up to 40 eggs

How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

Male: Up to 5.9 in (15 cm)Female: Up to 2.8 in (7 cm)‍

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Orange, red, purple, pink

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Habitat Loss

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Coral Reef, Patch Reefs, Clear Lagoons


The Red Sea, The Indo-pacific Ocean, And The East African Coast









Lyretail Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a lyretail?

Lyretail anthias is a type of fish with an active and semi-aggressive nature, this species of fish shares hermaphroditic characteristics which means that a female may become a male lyretail to take his place if the dominant male perishes.

What class of animal does a lyretail belong to?

Lyretail anthias fish belong to the Actinopterygii class, of the phylum Chordata. This sea goldie, also known as scale-fin fish, is very beautiful in appearance.

How many lyretails are there in the world?

The exact number of lyretail anthias fish is unknown in the world. They are found in abundance across the Indo-Pacific Ocean.

Where does a lyretail live?

These Pseudanthias squamipinnis species mostly lives in oceans. They are found in patch reefs, channels of water, and outer reefs in the Indo-Pacific Ocean. They also reside in the Red Sea and along the east African coast. They live among coral reefs and rock holes underwater in the wild. Those kept in tanks must be provided with coral decorations to make them feel at home.

What is a lyretail's habitat?

An ideal lyretail anthias habitat comprises coral reefs, patch reefs, and clear lagoons. They are found on steep slopes and at a depth of 114.8 ft (35 m). This species accepts new surroundings and tankmates well so they are mostly found in the aquarium trade nowadays. Their wild range is mainly in the Indo-Pacific region, in Japan and southeast Australia.

Who do lyretails live with?

Lyretail anthias are semi-aggressive in nature and therefore can be kept as an individual or in groups as they easily mix with other tankmates. A male lyretail should be kept in a group with several females of other species in an aquarium tank of 125 gal (568.3 L).

How long does a lyretail live?

These freshwater fish have a lifespan of around four to six years, they will only live to their maximum age when feeding is carried out multiple times a day.

How do they reproduce?

A male chooses from a group of females who to mate with. If a dominant male fish is absent then a female will turn into a male. In this process, her color changes from orange to pink and her dorsal fins will become even more ornate. After the courtship process, gametes are released into open water and these are expected to hatch within 20 hours. Within three to four days the babies can feed on their own.

What is their conservation status?

Lyretail anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis) is a freshwater marine fish listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

Lyretail Fun Facts

What do lyretails look like?

Pseudanthias squamipinnis anthias fish are of various colors. Males are pink in color whereas females are yellowish-orange in color and are striped with a purple-pink color around the eye towards their pelvic fins. Males have a white-yellow band of color on their bodies. Males are darker in shade than females on their pectoral fins. The body length varies in both males and females, males are up to 5.9 in (15 cm) long and females are up to 2.8 in (7 cm) long.


How cute are they?

Pseudanthias squamipinnis anthias freshwater marine fish are quite cute and they have a quite attractive look thanks to their orange-red coloration. Males and females both have different colors and sizes and they are well-known species of aquarium and tank traders. A male Indian lyretail has a reddish body and purple lining across the eye whereas a female Indian lyretail has a yellowish body and an orange lining that runs across the eye.

How do they communicate?

These anthias fish are peaceful in nature with their tank mates and they will quickly accept new inhabitants of their tanks as long as they are provided with a proper food diet. However, when they are kept in cramped conditions they came become aggressive towards smaller fish in the tank. When they are shifted to a new tank they may fight to create a hierarchy. At the end of the fight, the most dominant fish becomes a male and the remaining fish become females.

How big is a lyretail?

The size of a male anthias fish of this species is up to 15 cm (5.9 in) and these female anthias are up to 2.8 in (7 cm) in size. This fish size is similar to that of a clownfish. They are bigger than cory catfish but they are nearly 10 times smaller than blue catfish.

How fast can a lyretail swim?

These Indo-Pacific fish are moderate swimmers as they live in corals reefs at a depth of around 114.8 ft (35 m). Their specific swimming speed is unknown.

How much does a lyretail weigh?

The exact weight of these anthias fish is still unknown. We know that the male is bigger in size than the female, so the weight of the male is probably heavier than that of the female.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for males and females and therefore they are simple called male lyretail anthias and female lyretail anthias. In a tank, a group of these fish should be divided in the ratio of one male to six females.

What would you call a baby lyretail?

A baby lyretail is simply called larvae or fry.

What do they eat?

They mainly feed on zooplankton when in the wild. When they are moved to an aquarium they should be given properly prepared foods in small quantities multiple times a day. Their diet consists of brine shrimp, meaty foods, and Mysis shrimp. Feeding this fish with high-quality flake foods three to four times per day is recommended.

Are they dangerous?

These fish are not dangerous for humans. When they are moved to a new tank they may get easily attached to their new tank mates but they may also fight with them, in order to establish a hierarchy. In this procedure, smaller or more passive fish may be harmed by the bigger ones and their teeth.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, they can make a good pet. They are peaceful in nature unless provoked. Many people keep them as pets in their homes because of the beautiful coloration of both males and females. The sexual dimorphism between males and females is obvious in this species. Females are extremely bold and beautiful with an orange color around the whole body and purple color linings under the eye. These colors attract many people to buy this fish. Males are extravagant, having a pink color with red fins and one long fin on the top of their bodies. They are able to live with other species of fish and are great in reef tanks. They feed on zooplankton in wild but when kept as a pet they must be provided with high-quality prepared meaty food and brine shrimps.

Did you know...

These fish are also known as scale-fin anthias and these fish are very popular nowadays in the aquarium trade. In an aquarium, a group of these fish is created in which the dominant one becomes the male, whereas the remaining ones become female. Their main task is to catch and feed on plankton throughout the day. They may be provided with brine shrimps and prepared meaty foods as part of their diet in captivity.

Their life begins as a female but, after few weeks, thanks to their dimorphic function they can turn into males. This transition can take place within one or two weeks of birth.

The geographic location can influence the body colors of a male fish of this species, as they differ from country to country. These fish are not endemic to one location, in India, a male fish's body is of a reddish shade whereas a male lyretail in Kenya has an orange body and a red belly. Male fish from Fiji are most probably red.

Lyretail anthias have a wide distribution throughout the tropical Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean. A sustainable division of anthias mostly occurs from Kenya to Fiji.

Are lyretail anthias reef safe?

Yes, these fish are totally reef safe, in fact, they are best suited to coral reef habitats. They are open water swimmers who do not feed on sessile invertebrates. The tiniest ornamental shrimp also feels safe when in the coral reefs.

Are lyretail anthias aggressive?

Yes, they are semi-aggressive and they sometimes become dangerous for small passive fish in the tank, especially when forming the hierarchy. Its behavior is generally peaceful with other fish in a fish tank of other species but it may turn quite aggressive sometimes. If they lack food or are kept in cramped conditions it's more likely that they will become aggressive towards smaller fish and they may harm them.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our parrotfish facts and tang fish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable lyretail coloring pages.

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