The variable-lined fusilier (Caesio varilineata) is a pelagic marine fish belonging to the family Caesionidae.
The variable-lined fusilier is a small to medium-sized fish which grows to about 40 cm (16 in) long. The eyes are large, the mouth is small and terminal and is protrusible, being able to be extended forward to swallow food. The body is fusiform or spindle-shaped. The caudal fin is deeply forked. The body colouration is silver green-blue with from 2 to 6 yellow longitudinal lines which intensity and width are variable. The external part of the lobes from the caudal fin are lined with black.
Caesio varilineata inhabits coastal areas, lagoons, and on or near coral and rocky reefs to depths of 60 m, though more common on offshore islands (Carpenter 1988, Carpenter et al. 1997b, Khalaf 2004, Allen and Erdmann 2012). Itsdiet consists of zooplankton and feeds in large midwater aggregations (Carpenter 1988, Carpenter et al. 1997a; 1997b). This schooling species is commonly seen shoaling with C. caerulaurea, C. striata (Carpenter 1988), C. xanthalytos(Holleman et al. 2013) and Pterocaesio tile (Carpenter 1988). The maximum recorded total length is 40 cm (Carpenter 1988, Allen and Erdmann 2012), although within southern Persian Gulf they typically do not exceed 10-12 cm TL (J. Burt pers comm. 2013).
This species is susceptible to over-fishing in trap fisheries, as well as habitat loss and degradation (K. Carpenter and J. Burt, pers comm. 2013). Currently, in the Persian Gulf, individuals are rarely collected at sizes larger than 10-12 cm TL, suggesting that the species may have been over-exploited in the past. In Saudi Arabia, C. varilineata used to be caught in traps and trawls, but is now rare (Ebrahim pers. comm. 2013). It is probably over-exploited in Kenya but it is not likely to be over-exploited in Oman (Farid pers. comm. 2018).