Enneapterygius similis (Fricke, 1997)
Abundant throughout the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Recorded from the Central Western Pacific including Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. In Australia recorded from the east coast, north Queensland south to central New South Wales.
Frequents rocky and coral reef areas, inshore and offshore, usually areas of abundant algal growth. Depth to at least 15m. Feeds on benthic organisms.
Cryptic species, often not noted by divers unless specifically searched for. Males red on front half of body, with black on lower head and mouth, dark on rear, see lower photograph. White triangular bars behind each of two rear dorsal fins. Similar E. rufopileus male has at least the front half of the head all black and E. atrogulare has similar black markings on head but has black dorsal fin and lacks black body posterior. Grows to 32mm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.363.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Enneapterygius-similis.html. Accessed 25/05/18.