Dorsal fin with 9 spines and 15-17 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 9 rays. Pectoral fin with 16-18 rays. Body depth 2.7-3.2 in standard length. Oblong, somewhat compressed body, 17-19 gill rakers on the lower limb. Auxiliary scales present on body. Dorsal rays and anal rays longer than their adjacent spines. Pelvic fin shorter than half head length. Its body's head and fins dark brown. About 5-6 pale vertical bars occur on sides. Entire body including the fins spotted with black-edged blue spots. Fins dark.
In Maldives peacock hind can be found in a variety of habitats, but is most commonly associated with exposed reef front habitats. Recorded to at least 40 m, but prefers 1 to 10 m depths. Peacock hind can be found in ciguatera at some islands in the Pacific region, such as French Polynesia, Marshall Islands and Hawaii. Peacock hind occurs in social groups comprising of a single male and haremic females. Male territiory size is positively associated with fish size. Growth tends to be highly asymptotic and there is presently no evidence of rapid increase in size in males. Peacock hind is found in social units comprising up to 12 adults, including one dominant male. Each group occupies a specific area (up to 2,000 m²) that is defended by the territorial male and subdivided into secondary territories, each inhabited by a single female.
There is very little information available on the reproductive biology of this species. Behavioural studies suggest that male Peacock hind defend large territories that incorporate smaller female territories as described for C. boenak (Charcoal Grouper). Protogynous hermaphroditism has not confirmed for Peacock hind, although the testes remain primary-growth stage oocytes and have ovarian structure with a lumen and lamellae.
This species inhabits coral reefs, especially exposed reef front areas. It primarily feeds on a variety of small and juvenile reef fishes (Meyer and Dierking 2011). The Peacock Grouper occurs in social groups comprised of a single male and haremic females. Male territory size is positively associated with fish size (Pears 2005). Each group occupies a specific area (up to 2,000 m²) that is defended by the territorial male and subdivided into secondary territories, each inhabited by a single female (Shpigel and Fishelson 1991). The demography of this species is highly plastic and shows great variation over its distribution, especially in terms of maximum longevity and maximum size. In American Samoa, maximum fork length ranged from 30.5 to 36 and maximum age from 21 to 28 years (J. Choat pers. comm.). In the Great Barrier Reef, maximum fork length was 47 cm and maximum age was 40 years (Pears 2005). In Moorea, maximum fork length was 32.8 cm and maximum age 25 years. In the Marquesas, maximum fork length was 36.5 cm and maximum age was 27 years (J. Choat pers. comm.). In the main Hawaiian Island chain, maximum fork length ranged from 41.1 to 49.6 cm and maximum age from 13 to 25 years with a mean of 19 (Donovan et al. 2013). In the Seychelles, maximum fork length was 37.8 cm and maximum age was 19 years (Pears 2005). In the Hawaiian islands, this species has a reduced generation time and rapid population turnover. It exhibits monandric protogyny in Hawaii, and spawns from May to October with an age and size at sexual maturity of 1.2 years and 20 cm fork length (Schemmel et al. 2016).
Overfishing is a potential threat to this species on a localized level, and fishing pressure has been increasing in some areas.