Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Known from the Indo-West Pacific region: Red Sea to Tonga, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe Island. In Australia recorded from northern Western Australia, the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea in Queensland south to central New South Wales, including Lord Howe Island.
Frequents wave swept outer reef flats, rocky and coral reef areas usually in depths from 0 to 10m but has been collected from depths to 30 m in Rowley Shoals and the Red Sea.
Base colour geographically variable but with broad oblique bars and stripes, which may be brighter or darker and continue as bars on the body. Iris with irregular red ring around outer part of eye, narrow yellow ring around pupil with black ring in between. Feeds on benthic algae as do others of the genus. Grows to 12 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.366.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=cirripectes+castaneus. Accessed 15/05/18.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. http://fishbase.ca/summary/Cirripectes-castaneus.html. Accessed 15/05/18.