What's on the move

Rainbow cale

Heteroscarus acroptilus

(Image credit: Erik Schlögl)

Rainbow cale have a known range from the central coast of New South Wales, around the temperate south of Australia to the central coast of Western Australia. They are also found in Bass Strait and down the east coast to Maria Island.The mouths of the rainbow cale are beak like and the males are brightly coloured and have two elongated spines on dorsal fins. The males and larger females have dark rectangular blotches in rows along the length of their flank and purplish bands across a light orange/brown body. Juveniles and small females are brown white and red brown and speckled looking. Simular to wrasses, the dominant female will become male if the dominant male is lost.

AKA: Rainbow fish

Length: Up to 25 cm


Moderately exposed reef, seagrass; 2-20 m depth

Log it

In Tasmania, log this species if you spot it south of Maria Island and directly off the north coast

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 books:

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

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

Fishes of Tasmania by P. Last, E. Scott and F. Talbot (1983). Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority, Hobart

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

Number of sightings 4

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