Malacanthus latovittatus (Lacepede, 1801)
Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region, Red Sea and Kenya to the Hawaiian Islands, north to southern Japan, south to Australia. No records from New Zealand. In Australia recorded from central NSW (Seal Rocks), the Great Barrier Reef and North West Shelf in Western Australia.
Frequents areas of sandy or rubble substrate, usually outer reef slopes and lagoons. Depth range from 5 to at least 65m.
Usually seen swimming high above the substrate where it alternately swims and hovers while searching for prey items. Usually will swim away when approached closely instead of retreating to its burrow. May be seen singly or in pairs, adults forming monogamous pairs. Adult in top photograph, small juvenile (100mm) in bottom photograph. Grows to 45cm.