Gomphosus varius (Lacepede, 1801)
Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed through the Indo-Pacific region, Cocos-Keeling to the Hawaiian Islands, north to Japan, south to Rowley Shoals in the east Indian Ocean. In Australia recorded north from Geraldton in Western Australia, from Torres Strait south through Queensland to northern NSW and including Lord Howe Island.
Frequents rocky reef and coral rich areas.
Feeds on small benthic crustaceans, brittle stars and molluscs. Specimen pictured in top photograph is adult, middle photograph is initial phase, while bottom is older juvenile. Usually a solitary species, there is distinct pairing during breeding. Very small juveniles similar to juvenile Thalassoma lutescens but have lower black stripe on the underside. Grows to 32cm.