Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Generally widespread tropical Indo-Pacific, from Red Sea south to Durban, east to Tuamoto Islands, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe Island. In Australia recorded from northern Western Australia, throughout Queensland south to New South Wales, and including Lord Howe Island.
Prefer sheltered reefs with depths from shallows to about 55 m.
Often seen in pairs, the male has blue lines radiating from the eye, see bottom photograph. May be distinguished from similar looking Paraluteres prionurus, (Mimic Filefish) which mimics this species for added protection, by the short based second dorsal and anal fins. Internal organs and skin contain toxins and they are able to inflate themselves to further deter predators. Feeds on a variety of filamentous and coraline algae, polychaetes, echinoderms and tunicates. Grows to 10 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p. 463.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. http://fishbase.ca/summary/Canthigaster-valentini.html. Accessed 28/04/18.