Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific, Red Sea and East Africa to the Line and Ducie Islands, north to southern Japan, south to Rapa and Lord Howe Island. In Australia recorded north from around Geraldton in Western Australia, the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea in Queensland south to central New South Wales, and including Lord Howe Island.
Adults frequent sand and rubble patches of exposed outer reef flats, lagoons and seaward reefs. Juveniles among rocks in shallow coastal bays near sand and reef. Depth to 30 m.
Each life stage distinctive, small juvenile in top photograph with two distinct red/orange blotches on upper back. Older juvenile in second photograph sub-adult in third with mature male in fourth photograph. Feed mainly on hard shell invertebrates including crustaceans, molluscs, and sea urchins. Grows to 120 cm commonly smaller.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.302.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au//search?q=Coris+aygula. Accessed 15/05/18.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. http://fishbase.ca/summary/Coris-aygula.html. Accessed 15/05/18.