Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region: from East Africa (not the Red Sea or the Persian Gulf), to the Tuamoto Islands, north to southern Japan, south to the Austral Islands. In Australia recorded from Rowley Shoals and the North West Shelf in northern Western Australia through the Timor Sea, the Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef south to northern New South Wales.
Frequents coral reefs where it feeds on zooplankton in midwater. Juveniles sometimes in large numbers in shallow lagoons and on reef flats. Depth to at least 60 m.
Broad iridescent blue stripe from nose to tail with dark upper margin continuing to top lobe of tail fin, dark checkered pattern on dorsal surface. At night, or at cleaning stations, the lower half of the body may turn bright red, as in lower photograph. Oviparous (eggs hatch outside the body) with small pelagic eggs. Juveniles form large schools in shallow reef flats and lagoons. Used as baitfish in the tuna industry. Similar Caesio caerulaurea does not have the checkered pattern on upper surface of the body. Grows to 30 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.163.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=Pterocaesio+tile. Accessed 05/07/18.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. http://fishbase.ca/summary/Pterocaesio-tile.html. Accessed 28/04/18.