Bluespotted Jawfish Facts

The bluespotted jawfish is a beautiful burrowing fish that does best individually or as a mated pair.

The bluespotted jawfish hails from the eastern Pacific Ocean. Photo by John Virata

The bluespotted jawfish, (Opistognathus rosenblatti) also known as the blue dot jawfish is a beautiful fish that was first described in 1991. Hailing from the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Opistognathus rosenblatti is generally a dark reddish brown in coloration with blue dots, or spots, found throughout its body. The fish grows to about 3.5 inches in length and is considered semi-aggressive, but reef compatible.

Bluespotted Jawfish Quick Facts

  • Scientific Name: Opistognathus rosenblatti
  • Reef Compatible: Yes
  • Care Level: Advanced
  • Disposition: Peaceful but aggressive toward conspecifics and other burrowing fish
  • Min. Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Water Conditions: 72-78° F, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025, KH 8-12
  • Mature Size: 3.5 inches
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Range: Gulf of California

Keep this fish in a minimum 30 gallon aquarium with a deep substrate of at least six inches. Eight inches of a mixed sand, coral rubble, and shell substrate is even better for this fish, as it burrows. The bluespotted jawfish creates a burrow in the substrate in which it stays most of the time, venturing out to eat. At night, it seals its burrow and rebuilds the burrow each morning when it awakens.  The bluespotted jawfish does best in water temperatures between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit. A chiller may help to maintain these temperatures.

The bluespotted jawfish is best kept as an individual in a tank or as a mated pair. They will be aggressive toward conspecifics, and other fish that stay in burrows, such as shrimpgobies, dart fish and worm fish. Also, keep in mind that this fish is a jumper, and a covered aquarium is a requirement to keep it in the tank. This fish will eat frozen meaty foods such as mysid shrimp and other meaty commercial foods two times each day.

The bluespotted jawfish is a beautiful jawfish that commands a high price when they are available in the hobby. The bluespotted jawfish are wild caught, though there are three species of jawfish that have been successfully captive bred: the pearly jawfish (Opistognathus aurifrons), banded jawfish (Opistognathus macrognathus), and the finespotted jawfish (Opistognathus punctatus).

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Article Categories:
Fish · Saltwater Fish