Color - orange-red to reddish brown, usually dark posteriorly with numerous bright blue spots which are smaller than the pupil and often faintly dark-edged on head, body and median fins; distal margin of caudal fin and soft portions of dorsal and anal fins usually with a narrow blue margin and blackish submarginal line; orange-yellow pectoral fins, on some only distally; orange-red pelvic fins; it is capable of a disruptive color pattern of irregular oblique olivaceous bars; juveniles may be yellow with scattered faint blue spots. D IX, 14-16; A III, 8-9 (rarely 8); pectoral 17-18 (often 18); scales on lateral line 47-55; scales on longitudinal series 94-114; snout anterior to nostrils no scales; partially scaled maxilla; abdomen with cycloid scales; gill rakers 7-9 + 13-15; depth of body 2.65-3.05 in SL; length of head 2.4-2.65 in SL; the maxilla extends to or posterior to rear of the orbit; smooth ventral margin of preopercle; 5th - 8th dorsal spines longest , 3.0-3.6 in head; pectoral fins 1.45-1.75 in head; pelvic fins do not reach the anus, 1.9-2.3 in head.
Coral hind's Feeding
Feed on fishes (80%, mainly Pseudanthias squamipinnis) and crustaceans.
Coral hind habitat
This species inhabits clear waters on coral reefs and is often found in exposed rather than protected reef areas (Fischer et al. 1990). On the Barrier Reef, only found in outer shelf back-reef areas (Newman et al. 1997). It primarily consumes fishes (mainly Pseudanthias spp.) and crustaceans. The species may be a protogynous hermaphrodite, but this has not yet been confirmed (Heemstra and Randall 1993). It forms haremic groups comprising of a dominant male and two to 12 females that occupy territories of up to 475 km2 subdivided into secondary territories and defended by a single female (Shpigel and Fishelson 1991). Mature females have been measured at a total length of 23 cm (IRD database). Its maximum total length is 45 cm.
Coral reef degradation caused by destructive fishing practices, sediment run-off and bleaching events may impact this species. Fishing pressure on groupers could cause population declines for this species in some areas. There are no known major threats impacting the species on a global-level at this time.