Yellow-headed jawfish are popular saltwater aquarium fish due to colorful body and unusual burrowing behavior. In the wild, Yellow-headed jawfish live in patches of sand and coral rubble around the edges of coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea and with no place to hide in these open areas, jawfish dig in, building burrows into the sand.
In the reef aquarium, the Yellow-headed jawfish will burrow in the substrate and prefers a deeper sand bed with crushed coral and various grades of sand, at least 3 to 5 inches. They line the entrance with rocky rubble so it won't cave in, and they're forever shoveling out mouthfuls of sand. They sometimes raid a neighbor's burrow for choice pebbles and shells.
The Yellowhead jawfish rarely venture far away from their burrows. These pearly, 3 to 4 inch fairy-like fish with light blue-green bodies and yellowish heads spend nearly all of their days plucking zooplankton from the current just above their burrow entrances or in the burrow with only their yellow heads poking out. When danger threatens, they dive for cover into their burrow and will rise up out of its burrow with mouth wide open as a threat display intended to drive away other fish. As well, they have a habit of jumping therefore, any aquarium containing Jawfish need to have a lid.
Also, keep a close eye when the jawfish is first building their home, as their digging can easily cause rock slides. Once their burrow is complete this should no longer be an issue. A single fish occupies each burrow, except during mating season. A male may chase away other males that get too close to their burrow. At night, a jawfish will cover the opening of its burrow and remain inside, in order to be sheltered from predators.
Diet: Feed a varied diet consisting of chopped meaty marine foods. These foods include krill, raw table shrimp, squid, clam and mussel. It is also a good idea to occasionally supplement with some type of herbivore diet.