Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed in the Indo-West Pacific. In Australia recorded from around Geraldton in southern Western Australia, the Great Australian Bight and South Australia and New South Wales north to Southern Queensland.
Found on deeper coastal reefs and islands, juveniles under ledges and overhangs, adults in open areas. Depths from 15 to at least 80 m.
Colour varies from bright red to brown, usually pale under lower jaw. Juveniles black with prominent yellow stripes or blotches on sides. Common in southern part of range. Grows to 48 cm.
Fishes of Australia's Southern Coasts, edited by Martin Gomon, Diane Bray and Rudie Kuiter. Reed New Holland, Publishers, 2008. p.642.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. http://fishbase.ca/summary/Bodianus-frenchii.html. Accessed 28/04/18.