Rare in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region, from the Red Sea to South Africa, to the Pitcairn Islands, north to southern Japan, south to New South Wales. In Australia recorded from Shark Bay in Western Australia, north through the offshore reefs of Western Australia, throughout the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea, south to northern New South Wales, including Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands.
Frequents clear water areas around offshore islands and reefs rather than continental shores. Depth to at least 300 m.
Variable colouration, adults usually yellowish brown to dark red with yellow stripe from nose through forehead and distinct yellow edge to caudal fin. Juveniles, as pictured, with distinctive two tone body and large dark spot at upper tail base. Feeds on small fishes, crabs and stomatopods. Grows to 83 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.109.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. http://fishbase.ca/summary/Variola-louti.html. Accessed 10/05/18.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=variola+louti. Accessed 10/05/18.