Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region, from the Red South south to South Africa, east to southern Japan, south to Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands. In Australia recorded from Shark Bay in Western Australia, across the tropical north to Torres Strait, south through Queensland to central New South Wales.
Frequents reef slopes, sometimes silty conditions. Depth range to at least 20 m.
Secretive species, can change colour quickly, often dark brown to black. Young may associate with loose floating weeds, adults sometimes with larger Sargassum weed rafts. Feeds on benthic organisms, all colour forms have white spot at the base of the second dorsal fin. Grows to 25 cm, usually 15 cm in length.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.451.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. http://www.fishbase.se/summary/Cantherhines-pardalis.html. Accessed 11/04/18.