Common in Solitary Islands Marine Park. Widespread west Pacific and eastern Indian Ocean (Christmas Island), from New South Wales to southern Japan. In Australia recorded from Western Australia, throughout Queensland and south to Port Stephens in central New South Wales.
Frequents reef, coral and rubble areas, lagoons, channels and seaward slopes. Depth to at least 25 m.
Distinctive colouration makes for easy identification. Usually secretive if approached, sheltering under rocks or coral slabs. Characteristic large horizontal spine on corner of preopercle, feeds on coral polyps, benthic crustaceans, alga and detritus. Grows to 16 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.219.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. http://fishbase.ca/summary/Centropyge-bicolor.html. Accessed 30/04/18.