Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Western Pacific region, from the Philippines and Indonesia to Kiribati and Fiji, south to Rowley Shoals in the Indian Ocean and the Great Barrier Reef. In Australia recorded from around Exmouth in Western Australia, across the tropical north including the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland south to Port Stephens in New South Wales.
Prefers coral rubble and sandy habitat in clear water, depth to 30 m.
Pale body, dark oblique marks on operculum with row of double brown spots, sometimes fused, along body behind pectoral fin. Similar Istigobius decoratus has black spots, often fused. Grows to 10 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. P. 401.
Palomares, M.L.D. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. SeaLifeBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.sealifebase.org, version (06/2018). http://www.fishbase.us/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?ID=4324&genusname=Isti.... Accessed 29/04/2020.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=Istigobius+rigilius. Accessed 29/04/2020.