Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region: from the Red Sea to Samoa, north to southern Japan, south to New Caledonia. In Australia recorded from Shark Bay in Western Australia, across the tropical north, including the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, south to northern New South Wales.
Frequents sandy areas of clear lagoons and seaward reefs. Uses a burrow as a refuge, burrow is usually shallow and made under large pieces of rubble. Depth 2 -84 m, usually 10 - 30 m.
Bright gold or orange spots and dashes on side, rows of light blue spots on head. Adults usually in pairs and often seen on the sand near entrance to burrow. Tiny juvenile 10 mm long in lower image. Grows to 20 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.409.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=Valenciennea+puellaris. Accessed 12/07/18.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Valenciennea-puellaris.html. Accessed 12/07/18.