| Ecological Descriptors
|Co, R, S, De
|| Veg, Spo, Cor, Gor, Cru, Anemones
Adult: Elongate, highly laterally compressed with a long, broom-like tail. Ling, pointed concave snout. Body olive brown to gray in color, with blue spots and irregular lines plus black dots. The elongated first spine of the front dorsal fin cannot be locked. Skin rough like sandpaper.
Juvenile: Can be yellowish brown with dark spots.
Inhabits lagoon and seaward reefs, and individuals are occasionally seen under floating objects. . Adults are usually seen along deep coastal slopes or outer reef drop-offs in about 20m (70ft) depth. Feeds on algae, seagrass, hydrozoans, gorgonians, anemones and tunicates. Generally a solitary species. This species sometimes can be poisonous due to feeding on sea anemones.
Juveniles may travel with weed rafts in the open ocean for a long period. Also juveniles are found in seagrass beds, where they imitate the blades of seagrass by assuming a posture with their heads pointed downwards and with the tail performing undulating movements.
Breed in groups of 1 male and 2-5 females. Females lay their eggs which are demersal (on the bottom of the sea). These eggs can be found in relatively safe areas such as hollows in the sand. The eggs that are fertilized will be protected by the male or
female whereby upon close approach the male and female fish will attack and when the eggs hatch the female fish will take care of the young.