| Ecological Descriptors
|Co (S, M, Man. Br)
||Pisc, Cru, Wor, Mol
Adult: Body oblong-shaped, with a triangular head and a shallow notched tail. Body silver to copper, often with pale bars. Fins yellow. Pectoral fins long, reaching the level of the anus. Slightly upturned snout with a large mouth and prominent canine teeth near the front of the jaw. One of the upper pairs of canine teeth notably enlarged, visible when the mouth is closed. A blue line under the eye.
Juvenile: Has dark vertical bars on back.
Occurs in shallow coastal waters over coral reefs, down to 63 m. Often near the shelter of Elkhorn corals (Acropora palmata) and gorgonians (L. apodus). Juveniles are often found above sand bottoms with or without sea grass (Thallasia) and over muddy bottoms of lagoons or mangrove areas. Young specimens may enter brackish waters. Sometimes form resting aggregations during the day. Feeds on fish, shrimps, crabs, worms, gastropods and cephalopods.
Gonochoristic - separate male and female fish that reproduce externally. Spawning occurs in open waters, offshore, away from the inshore reef habitat, mainly during winter. Here both male and female fish release their gametes simultaneously into the water for fertilization to take place. Once fusion occurs the fertilized eggs will sink to the bottom, where they are left unguarded with no parental care, being substratum egg scatterers. Size at maturity ~25cm (1 to 2 years old).
(C) Dr P Ryan/ RyanPhotographic