Baldchin Groper, Choerodon rubescens (Günther 1862)


Other Names: Baldchin Tuskfish, Baldchin Wrasse, Tuskfish, Westralian Baldchin Groper

A male Baldchin Groper, Choerodon rubescens, at the Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Source: Graham Edgar / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution

Summary:

A large wrasse with protruding tusk-like teeth in both jaws, and a distinctive white chin and white pectoral-fin base. Baldchin Groper vary in colour, and range from yellowish-brown in juveniles to pinkish-grey or greenish-blue in large males.

Baldchin Groper, found only in Western Australia, are very popular with commercial fishers and recreational anglers.

Video of a Baldchin Groper foraging for food by disturbing the sediment with its pectoral fins.


Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Choerodon rubescens in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Sep 2019, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1927

Baldchin Groper, Choerodon rubescens (Günther 1862)

More Info


Distribution

Endemic to Western Australia between  Coral Bay and Cape Naturaliste, and most abundant at the Abrolhos Islands, about 70 km west of Geraldton.

Adults inhabit coastal and offshore reefs, while juveniles often shelter in shallow weedy areas near reefs.

Feeding

Carnivores - feed on benthic invertebrates such as squid, octopus, sea urchins and sometimes crustaceans.

Biology

Baldchin Groper are protogynous hermaphrodites, and begin their adult life as females before changing sex during their life cycle to become males. Although they are solitary or live in small groups, during the breeding season, individuals form large spawning aggregations of up to one hundred fish.

Fisheries

Highly prized by both commercial and recreational fishers, and considered very good eating. The minimum legal size limit for retention (commercial and recreational) is 40 cm, which is above the length at sexual maturity of about 29 cm.

Species Citation

Choerops rubescens Günther 1862, Cat. fishes Brit. Mus. 4: 97. Type locality: Houtman Abrolhos, WA.

Author

Dianne J. Bray

Resources

Australian Faunal Directory

Baldchin Groper, Choerodon rubescens (Günther 1862)

References


Allan, R. 2002. Australian Fish and How to Catch Them. Sydney : New Holland Publishers (Australia) 394 pp.

Allen, G. 1999. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and south-east Asia. Western Australian Museum, Perth.

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.

Fairclough, D.V. 2005.The biology of four tuskfish species in Western Australia. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

Günther, A. 1862. Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum. Catalogue of the Acanthopterygii Pharyngognathi and Anacanthini in the collection of the British Museum. London : British Museum Vol. 4 534 pp.

Hatcher, B.G. 1991. Coral reefs in the Leeuwin Current – an ecological perspective. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 74: 115-127.

Hutchins, B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea fishes of southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Swainston, Perth, Australia.

Hutchins, J.B. 1979. The marine fishes of Rottnest Island. Creative Research, Perth

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270.

Nardi, K. 1999. The life history and the effect of protected areas on the baldchin groper (Pisces:Labridae) at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Master of Science thesis, James Cook University, Queensland, Australia.

Platten, J. R., Tibbets, I. R. & Sheaves, M. J. 2002. The influence of increased line-fishing mortality on the sex ratio and age of sex reversal of the venus tusk fish. Journal of Fish Biology 60: 301-318.

Pogonoski, J.J., Pollard, D.A. & Paxton, J.R. 2002. Conservation overview and action plan for Australian threatened and potentially threatened marine and estuarine fishes. Environment Australia, Canberra, Australia.

Sumner, N. & Williamson, P. 1999. A 12-month survey of coastal recreational boat fishing between Augusta and Kalbarri on the west coast of Western Australia during 1996-97. Fisheries WA Research Report No. 117, Fisheries Western Australia, Perth.

Sumner, N.R., Williamson, P.C. & Malseed, B.E. 2002. A 12-month survey of recreational fishing in the Gascoyne bioregion of Western Australia during 1998-99. Fisheries WA Research Report No. 139.

Walker, M.H. 1983. Aspects of the life history of baldchin groper trapped at the Abrolhos Islands. Fins 16(3): 4-7.

Yearsley, G.K., Last, P.R. & Ward, R.D. (eds) 1999. Australian Seafood Handbook. Hobart : CSIRO Marine Research 460 pp.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37384039

Biology:Able to change sex

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-30 m

Fishing:Commercial & recreational fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:100 cm TL

Native:Endemic

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map