Coris gaimard (Quoy and Gaimard, 1824)
Common throughout the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the tropical West Pacific, Christmas and Cocos-Keeling Islands eastern Indian Ocean to the Society and Tuamoto Islands, north to Japan and Hawaiian Islands, south to Australia. In Australia recorded from the North West shelf region of Western Australia, Queensland south to northern New South Wales and including Lord Howe Island.
Frequents areas of mixed coral and rubble, rocky reef and slopes to at least 50m. Juveniles often in shallow water, hiding in crevices and caves when threatened.
Juvenile and subadults have orange basic body colour, large adults showing orange head with body darkening with blue spots towards rear of body. Females have yellow tail, adult males dark green blue with pale vertical bar behind the pectoral fin. Small juvenile shown in top photograph, larger juvenile in middle, initial phase at bottom. Solitary species, feeds mainly on molluscs and crustaceans. Grows to 40cm.
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+gaimard. Accessed 23/05/18.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Coris-gaimard.html. Accessed 23/05/18.