Ningaloo Reef, WA (22°21'S), to Capricorn Group (23°30'S), QLD, also Rowley Shoals (17°20'S) and Scott Reef (14°03'S), WA, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea (12°15'S) and Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands; tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Timor Province (2), Cocos (Keeling) Island Province (22), Christmas Island Province (23), Northern Shelf Province (25), Northwest Shelf Transition (26), Northwest Shelf Province (27), Central Western Shelf Transition (28), Central Western Shelf Province (29), Northwest Transition (3), Northeast Shelf Province (40), Northeast Shelf Transition (41)
Body moderately deep to somewhat slender. Dorsal profile of head gently to moderately sloped; preorbital width about equal to eye diameter; preopercular notch and knob poorly developed; vomerine tooth patch crescentic, without a medial posterior extension; tongue smooth, without teeth; gill rakers on lower limb of first gill arch (including rudiments) 10 or 11, total rakers on first gill arch 18 or 19. Dorsal fin with X spines and 13 (rarely 14) soft rays; anal fin with III spines and 8 or 9 soft rays; posterior profile of dorsal and anal fins rounded to somewhat angular; pectoral fins with 15 to 17 rays; caudal fin truncate or slightly emarginate. Scale rows on back rising obliquely above lateral line. Generally yellowish to pinkish with dusky scale margins; grey or brown on upper back and dorsal portion of head; a black spot on back below anterior soft dorsal rays; fins yellowish.
Inhabits coral reef areas, usually close to shelter in the form of caves, large coral formations and wreckage. Usually solitary; occasionally occurring in small groups. Feeds mainly on fishes and benthic crustaceans, primarily crabs at night. Flesh is som
Widespread in the Indo-Pacific from East Africa to the Marquesas and Line islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to Australia. It is a very common species in Taiwan and present in all coastal waters.
An important market fish in many areas; marketed mostly fresh.