Saddleback Pigfish, Bodianus bilunulatus (Lacépède 1801)

Other Names: Red-streaked Pigfish, Saddle-back Pigfish, Saddleback Wrasse, Tarry Hogfish

A Saddleback Pigfish, Bodianus bilunulatus, in the Murion Islands, Western Australia, April 2009. Source: eschlogl / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A large species with fine reddish stripes along the upper head and back, sides with reddish scale margins, a large black saddle the rear of the dorsal fin (indistinct in large males), and a yellow tail. Juveniles are bright yellow above, with fine red stripes along the sides, and a broad black bar on the rear of the body.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Bodianus bilunulatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jul 2018,

Saddleback Pigfish, Bodianus bilunulatus (Lacépède 1801)

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Recorded in Australia from the Houtman Abrolhos, WA (28°31'S) to the Cobourg Peninsula, NT (132°E), including offshore WA reefs, and ENE of Cape Moreton, QLD (26°58'S). Found elsewhere in the tropical Indo-west-central Pacific. Inhabits corals and rocky reefs, often on deep outer reef slopes rich with corals, sponges and seawhips.

Species Citation

Labrus bilunulatus Lacépède, 1801, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons: 454, 526, pl. 31(2). Type locality: Indo-Pacific (as Great Equatorial Ocean).


Dianne J. Bray

Saddleback Pigfish, Bodianus bilunulatus (Lacépède 1801)


Allen, G.R. 1985. Fishes of Western Australia. Book 9. 2207-2534 526 pls in Burgess, W.E. & Axelrod, H.R. (eds). Pacific Marine Fishes. Neptune, New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications.

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp.

Gomon, M.F. 2006. A revision of the labrid fish genus Bodianus with descriptions of eight new species. Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 30: 1-133

Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp.

Hobbs, J.-P.A., Ayling, A.M., Choat, J.H., Gilligan, J.J., McDonald, C.A., Neilson, J. & Newman, S.J. 2010. New records of marine fishes illustrate the biogeographic importance of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Zootaxa 2422: 63–68

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

Lacépède, B.G. 1801. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : chez Plassan Vol. 3 558 pp. 34 pls.

Randall, J.E. 1986. Family No. 220: Labridae. pp. 683-706 in Smith, M.M. & Heemstra, P.C. (eds). Smith's Sea Fishes. Johannesburg : Macmillan South Africa xx + 1047 pp. 144 pls.

Westneat, M.W. 2001. Labridae. pp. 3381-3467 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384054

Biology:Capable of changing sex

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-40 m

Fishing:Commercial, recreational, aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:55 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map