Coris dorsomacula (Fowler, 1908)
Abundant in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Western Pacific region, from Japan to New Caledonia, east to Tonga. In Australia recorded from far north Queensland and the Coral Sea, south to Victoria on the east coast of Australia.
Frequents reef slopes, low algal reefs and sandy gutters to 40m depth. Small juveniles secretive in algal growths.
Top photograph shows a tiny juvenile displaying cryptic colouration. Larger juveniles have dark stripe from nose through eye fading towards the caudal peduncle, see second photograph. Patterns become more complex with age, small yellow vertical stripe on rear of operculum may be visible through to the subadult stage, see third photograph. Small black ocellus may be visible on dorsal surface at rear of dorsal fin on all stages through to adult, see bottom photograph. Benthic feeders, they take a variety of small invertebrates. Grows to 22cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.304.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=coris+dorsomacula. Accessed 23/05/18.