Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region: from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Hawaiian, Line and Marquesan Islands, north to southern Japan, south to New Caledonia and the Austral Islands. In Australia recorded north from around Shark Bay in the northern area of Western Australia, the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland to northern New South Wales, and including Lord Howe Island.
Frequents clear lagoons and coral reefs where it perches openly on outermost branches of branching corals such as Pocillopora, Stylophora and Acropora. Depth to 33 m, occasionally deeper.
Colour highly variable and may go through colour phases, young often red above, white below (see lower photograph). Adults have more spots on head. Feeds on small invertebrates and fishes. Grows to 22 cm, but commonly 18 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.234.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au//search?q=paracirrhites+forsteri. Accessed 22/06/18.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Paracirrhites-forsteri.html. Accessed 22/06/18.