The Choat's Wrasse is common on the southern Great Barrier Reef. Their habitat ranging from coastal to inner reefs, from shallow algae reefs to the slopes of deep rubble drop-offs.
Choat's Wrasse can be recognised by its distinctive colouration. Juveniles have a whitish body with large orange blotches. The pelvic fins and the elevated anterior portion of the dorsal fin are orange anteriorly and white behind.
As a fish grows, its colour pattern slowly changes. Adults have irregular rows of orange blotches on the body. On the operculum there is a black spot edged with yellow above and behind.
The species is endemic to Australia. It occurs from the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland south to the central coast of New South Wales.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.