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Commonly Asked Questions

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

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Indo-Pacific near the Maldives, Laccadive Islands, Sri Lanka, Andaman Sea, Western Australia, and from the Ryukyu Islands south to Eastern Australia and east to New Caledonia and Fiji.
  • Found hovering over sand patches close to coral reefs at depths to 82 feet (25 m).
  • Juvenile is common inshore, in lagoons or rubble zones

Physical Characteristics

  • Coloration is olive or grayish-brown on upper part of the body; bottom half is pearly-white. Two narrow yellow stripes on the head; black-edged white bar runs from the mouth to the base of the soft dorsal fin.
  • Some geographical variations exist, particularly between individuals from the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Pacific variety has yellow stripes and a yellow dorsal fin; the Indian forms lack the yellow coloration.
  • Juvenile’s coloration is brown with yellow stripes on the upper body.
  • Maximum length of 9 inches (23 cm).

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists of small fishes and benthic invertebrates.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Occurs singly or in small aggregations; adult usually appears in pairs near coral reefs.
  • Juvenile resembles several unpalatable sabertooth blennies that possess venomous fangs, providing it with protection from predators. This is called “mimicry” - the similarity in external appearance or behavior of two species of animals, in which at least one derives an advantage from the similarity.
  • Also called the “bridled monocle bream” in Australia and the “two-line spinecheek.”


Coral Sea Reef Guide. Halstead, B., pg. 162
Reef Fish Identification -Tropical Pacific. Allen, G.; Steene, R.; Humann, P. and    Deloach, N., pg. 83