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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Indo-Pacific Reef Habitat (Tropical Diver)

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs throughout the Western Pacific through Cocos Keeling Island, Australia, Indonesia, South China, Taiwan, Ryukyu Islands, Philippines, Palau, Caroline Islands, Kapingamarangi Island, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.  
  • Found in coastal and sheltered inner reefs, usually in coral and other invertebrate-rich areas to depths of about 33 feet (10 m). 

Physical Characteristics

  • Can be identified by its combined color and slender shape. Has a prominent black bar on the head. Bar runs diagonally from over the eye to the chin and continues above the eye as spots.
  • Yellow in color with wavy broken blue lines arranged vertically on the front part of its body, becoming horizontal towards the rear.
  • Individual can grow up to one foot (0.3 m) in length with enormous, stout spines.

Diet / Feeding

  • Adult diet consists of algae, tunicates and sponges.
  • Juvenile feeds on filamentous algae.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List. 

Additional Information

  • Can inflict painful stings with its pelvic fin spines.
  • Also called the “masked spinefoot.”

Reef Fish Identification - Tropical Pacific. Allen, G.; Steene, R.; Humann, P. and Deloach, N., pg. 56  
Surgeonfishes, Rabbitfishes. Debelius, H. and Kuiter, R. H., pg. 165