Chelmonops curiosus – Western Talma

Chemonops curiosus is native to southern Australia. They therefore like somewhat cooler water than usual in our aquariums.

Chelmonops curiosus

Chemonops curiosus was described in 1986 by Kuiter.


Adult Chelmonops curiosus have an almost triangular shape. The head is small with a pointed snout. Towards the rear, the fins become wider and wider in the shape of a triangle. Four clear black vertical bands are visible, these are trimmed with a silver border. in between the body is white/silver. They can reach a total length of about 26 centimeters.

Australia has quite a few species that have a “sister” species in the East or West. The currents have separated populations from each other. This has resulted in species separated by time. Chelmonops truncatus is also called the Eastern Talma. Its “sister” species to Chemonops curiosus is the Western Talma. The difference can be seen in the dorsal and anal fins. This is longer and more pointed in the Chelmonops curiosus.


This species is omnivorous. Chemonops curiosus feeds on small worms, invertebrates and algae.

The aquarium

This species is not often kept in the aquarium. They come from the coral reefs in the south of Australia and therefore like slightly cooler water than usual in our seawater aquariums. It is best to keep them at a temperature between 19 and 25 degrees Celsius. Keeping them at the maximum temperature for a long time can shorten the lifespan of this species.



John de Lange

Copyright images

John TurnbullCC BY – NC-SA 2.0

Additional information





First described by

Rudie Hermann Kuiter




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Minimum length


Length maximum


Temperature minimum
Temperature maximum



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