Grammistes sexlineatus (Thunberg, 1792)

Common Name: 
Lined Soapfish

Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region, from the Red Sea to the Marquesan Islands, north to southern Japan, south to New Zealand. In Australia recorded from Exmouth in Western Australia, north through the offshore islands and reefs to Ashmore and Cartier Reefs, in Queensland from Torres Strait south to northern New South Wales and including Lord Howe Island.

Ecological Notes: 

Frequents coastal waters over coral and rocky reefs to a depth of at least 130 m, usually to 20 m. 

Additional Notes: 

Adults black with thin yellow stripes along body, blue edged black spot on upper lip. Small juveniles have only 2 white stripes, number increasing as the fish matures. Feeds on small fishes, skin contains toxin-producing glands which is bitter to the taste. Hides under ledges and in small caves during the day, emerging at night to feed. Specimens pictured are about 10 cm long, grows to 30 cm.


R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.101.

Atlas of Living Australia website at Accessed 27/05/18.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. Accessed 27/05/18.