Intermediate Phase pictured here.
Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-West Pacific region: from the Persian Gulf and East Africa east to Samoa, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe Island. In Australia recorded from Shark Bay in Western Australia north to the Timor Sea, the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, south to southern New South Wales and including Lord Howe Island.
Frequents shallow reef flats, coastal and outer reefs and islands. Habitats from silty lagoons to clear outer reef walls. Depth 1 - 30 m.
Male pale dorsally with black midsection and blue from mouth to anal fin, cream stripe behind eye to below pectoral fin, white margin on tail. Intermediate phase without the stripe and blue under belly. Juvenile pale below eye level, brownish green above, white margins on tail. Solitary and territorial, juveniles especially shy, sliding sideways into cover if approached. Feed on a wide variety of benthic invertebrates. Monogamous, female laying and guarding eggs in suitable sandy area while male patrols nearby. Grows to 30 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.449.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=sufflamen+chrysopterum. Accessed 10/07/18.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Sufflamen-chrysopterum.html. Accessed 10/07/18.