Plectorhinchus picus (Cuvier, 1828)
Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Recorded from the Indo-Pacific region: Seychelles to the Society Islands, north to Japan, south to Lord Howe and Rapa Islands. In Australia from Geraldton in Western Australia, across the tropical north including the Gulf of Carpentaria and Torres Strait, south through Queensland to the mid north coast of NSW, and including Lord Howe Island.
Found around reefs, offshore islands and rocky outcrops from 3 to 50m depth. Usually secretive during daylight hours preferring small caves and overhangs. Juveniles found in shallow lagoons.
Adults relatively easy to approach, may be seen singly or in small groups. Often found at cleaning stations if out in open. Three life stages shown, top photo shows large juvenile, while lower photo shows small juvenile approximately 20mm in length. Large adults 60cm long in centre photograph. Grows to 80cm.