Uncommon to rare in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Western Pacific Ocean: from the Moluccas to Samoa, north to the Izu Islands, south to Rowley Shoals in the eastern Indian Ocean, and New Caledonia. In Australia recorded from Exmouth in Western Australia, across the tropical north, the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland south to Flinders Reef. Also recorded from Middleton Reef.
Frequents mixed coral and rubble areas of seaward reefs and lagoons. Depth to at least 40 m.
Colour variable according to life stage, sub adult pictured here. Common features include dark ear spot and ocellus at rear of dorsal fin, distinctive scales with bright blue spotted centres and bright yellow iris. Adults darker blue with yellow pectoral and dorsal fin, pale transparent tail. Yellow pectoral fin and lack of white tail base distinguish from the more common P. bankanensis. Solitary, feeds on small invertebrates and filamentous algae. Grows to 10 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.279.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=Pomacentrus+vaiuli. Accessed 02/07/18.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Pomacentrus-vaiuli.html. Accessed 02/07/18.