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The scalefin anthias occurs in the Indo-West Pacific from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Southwest Japan, Palau and East Australia. This species prefers to swim in lagoons, shallow and outer reefs to depths of 6 to 66 feet.
Females are orange with a violet-edged orange stripe that runs from the eye to the base of the pectoral fin. The males have two different color variations; there is a red variation with yellow spots on its scales and a purple variation with shades of purple, yellow and green. All males have a long third dorsal spine.
Look for the scalefin anthias in the Tropical Diver gallery.