What's on the move

Coral pigfish

Bodianus axillaris

(Image credit: Ian Shaw)

Adults are red-brown anteriorly diagonally fading into white posteriorly with three large black spots found on the dorsal, anal and base of the pectoral fins. Fin rays are yellow on a transparent background. Juveniles are black with white spots on the dorsal and ventral edges. Fin edges in juveniles are transparent.

JUVENILES: Black with large white spots along both the ventral and dorsal edges. Lips are an opaque white and fin edges are transparent. The eyes are a dark red in colour.

ADULTS: Red-brown front end which diagonally fades to a white back end. Three large black spots; one at the base of the pectoral fin, one on the anal fin and one on the end of the dorsal fin. The fin rays are yellow on transparent fins, especially noticeable in the caudal fin.

Juveniles are commonly observed acting as cleaners to larger fish. Adults have sometimes been noted cleaning larger fish.

Length: Up to 20 cm


Adults in clear shallow waters and lagoons to 10 m. Juveniles found in caves and crevices to 25 m; 2 to >20 m depth

Log it

Log it in New South Wales if spotted in Port Stephens and south

Related links/info

Species names on the Redmap site are based on the Codes for Australian Aquatic Biota or CAAB (http://www.cmar.csiro.au/caab/). This is updated regularly and lists the approved common name, family, species name and more.

Redmap species descriptions were based, with permission, on the following resources:

Australian Marine Life: The Plants and Animals of Temperate Waters by G. J. Edgar, Revised Ed. (2008) Reed Books, Melbourne

Fishes of Australia’s Southern Coast, Edited by M. Gomon. D. Bray and R. Kuiter (2008) Reed Books, Melbourne

Randall, John; Allen, Gerald; Steen, Roger (1997). Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. University of Hawaii Press. p. 164. ISBN 0-8248-1895-4.

Find further information and images at FISHES OF AUSTRALIA http://www.fishesofaustralia.net.au/

Number of sightings 0

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