Abundant in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region: Cocos-Keeling islands in the eastern Indian Ocean to western Pacific and islands of Oceania. In Australia recorded from Exmouth north to North West Shelf region of Western Australia, the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland south to southern New South Wales and including Lord Howe Island.
Frequents sub-tidal reef flats and outer lagoons to deep drop offs, usually in areas of mixed sand and rubble and coral. Depth to 30 m.
Males with evenly spaced green spots, females and juveniles with network of dark blotches on pale background. Small juveniles, as in top photograph, float with the current like leaves, larger juvenile pictured in second photograph, female and males in bottom photographs. Feeds on small gastropods and other invertebrates. Grows to 15 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.324.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=macropharyngodon+meleagris. Accessed 06/06/18.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Macropharyngodon-meleagris.html. Accessed 06/06/18.