Abundant throughout the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region: Red Sea and Natal, South Africa to Niue, north to Japan, south to Australia. In Australia recorded from the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland south to southern New South Wales and including Lord Howe Island.
Adults found above coral outcrops or patch reefs of clear lagoons, channels or outer reef slopes. Often large aggregations on edges of reefs and dropoffs. Depth to at least 55 m.
Male with purple patch on pectoral fin and elongated third dorsal fin ray. Females mostly yellow-orange with purple outer eye. Schools consist mostly of harems of females with one or several dominant males. Females, shown in second photograph, are induced to change sex by the removal of the dominant male. Usually seen feeding on zooplankton in the water column, retreating to soft corals, holes and crevices if threatened. Grows to 12 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.107.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=pseudanthias+squamipinnis. Accessed 01/06/18.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Pseudanthias-squamipinnis.html. Accessed 01/06/18.