Off Shark Bay (26°30'S) to Murion Islands (21°39'S), Rowley Shoals (17°20'S) and Scott Reef (14°03'S), WA, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea (12°15'S), and Raine Island (11°36'S) to Moreton Bay (26°58'S), QLD, also Boot Reef (10°02'S), Osprey Reef (13°56'S) and Holmes Reef (16°30'S), Coral Sea, Middleton Reef and Elizabeth Reef, Tasman Sea and Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Norfolk Island; tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Northeast Province (18), Northeast Transition (19), Timor Province (2), Cape Province (20), Norfolk Island Province (21), Cocos (Keeling) Island Province (22), Christmas Island Province (23), Northwest Shelf Province (27), Central Western Shelf Transition (28), Central Western Shelf Province (29), Northwest Transition (3), Central Eastern Shelf Transition (39), Northeast Shelf Province (40), Northeast Shelf Transition (41)
Coral Sea Islands Territory, Territory of Ashmore & Cartier Islands
Body elongate; body depth 2.4-2.6 times in standard length. Snout short. Mouth large, the maxilla reaching posterior to a vertical at centre of eye; upper margin of preopercle finely serrate. A continuous dorsal fin of X spines and 11 soft rays, notched between spinous and soft portions; a single cirrus from membrane near tip of each dorsal-fin spine; anal fin with III spines and 6 soft rays; upper 2 and lower 6 or 7 pectoral rays unbrached; caudal fin slightly rounded. Lateral-line scales 45- 50; 5 rows of large scales above lateral line; 5 or 6 rows of large scales on cheek, in addition to small scales. Occurs in a variety of color morphs, but always has a distinctive ring extending around and behind the eye.
Occurs in lagoon and seaward reefs from 1 to at least 33 m where it found on heads of small branching corals, e.g.
. Feeds mainly on shrimps, small fishes, crabs, and other crustaceans.
Distributed in the Indo-Pacific from East Africa to the Hawaiian, Line and Mangaréva islands, north to southern Japan, south to Australia and Rapa; throughout Micronesia. It is found in southern and eastern Taiwanese waters; Siao Liouciou, southweste
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