Coral Pigfish, Bodianus axillaris (Bennett 1832)

Other Names: Axil Hogfish, Axil Pigfish, Axilspot Hogfish, Bicolor Wrasse, Coral Hogfish

An Axilspot Hogfish, Bodianus axillaris, at the Solitary Islands, New South Wales. Source: Andrew J. Green / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution

Adult males are reddish-brown anteriorly, becoming white towards the rear, with a large black spot at the pectoral-fin base, and on the soft dorsal and anal fins.
Females and juveniles are blackish overall with large white spots along the upper and lower sides. 
Juvenile Coral Pigfish resemble those of the Eclipse Pigfish, Bodianus mesothorax, however they have white rather than yellow spots. They act as cleaner fishes by picking parasites from other fishes.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Bodianus axillaris in Fishes of Australia, accessed 26 May 2019,

Coral Pigfish, Bodianus axillaris (Bennett 1832)

More Info


Houtman Abrolhos to Rob Roy Reef, WA, also Rowley Shoals and Scott Reef, WA, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, to Montague Island, New South Wales. The species occurs elsewhere in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits coral reefs, usually in lagoon and on seaward reefs in caves and under ledges.


Feeds mostly on bottom living hard-shelled invertebrates such as molluscs and crustaceans.


Occasionally sold in the aquarium industry.


Dianne J. Bray

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384053

Biology:Changes sex

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-100 m (usually 2-40 m)

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:20 cm SL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map