Bluelined Rabbitfish, Siganus doliatus Guérin-Méneville 1829-38

Other Names: Barred Rabbitfish, Barred Spinefoot, Blue-lined Rabbitfish, Blue-lined Rabbit-fish, Doublebar Spinefoot, Pencil-streaked Rabbitfish, Pencil-streaked Spinefoot, Two Barred Rabbitfish

Bluelined Rabbitfish, Siganus doliatus - Australia. Source: T. Cooper / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution

A pale bluish-grey to whitish rabbitfish with two diagonal brown bands, one through the eye and a second just behind the head, fine blue lines on the head and obvious vertical lines on the upper two-thirds of the sides, horizontal blue lines on the caudal peduncle, and yellow dorsal and caudal fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Siganus doliatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jun 2024,

Bluelined Rabbitfish, Siganus doliatus Guérin-Méneville 1829-38

More Info


Recorded from Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, to Moreton Bay, Queensland, including offshore reefs of Western Australia, and Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea. Occurs elsewhere in the tropical West-central Pacific. Inhabits shallow reef flats near rich coral growth in lagoons and other sheltered reef habitats. Usually seen in pairs or schools grazing on turf algae, seagrass and macroalgae. 


Dorsal fin XIII, 10; Anal fin VII, 9; Pectoral fin 16-17; Vertebrae 13; Scale rows above lateral line 19-26.
Spines stout, pungent and venomous. Preopercular 97°-110°. Strong scales cover cheeks. Midline of thorax fully scaled; sometimes a few scales absent from pelvic ridges.


Body blue above, silvery white below; from nape through eye to chin a seal brown band, another from base of 4th-5th dorsal spines to just below of pectoral fin. 


Herbivore - feeds on turf algae, macroalgae and seagrass. Schools of Bluelined Rabbitfish often target the territories of herbivorous damselfishes.


Although Bluelined Rabbitfish seemingly form socially monogamous pairs, acoustic telemetry studies have shown that paired adults undertake highly synchronized migrations with many other Bluelined Rabbitfish every month. All tagged individuals migrated along the same route in three consecutive months and were absent from home territories for 2–3 days just after the new moon - suggesting that Siganus doliatus forms spawning aggregations (Fox et al. 2015). Individuals spawn in groups at dusk usually around the first quarter moon during warmer months. 
Individuals mature at about 2 years of age.

Similar Species

Easily confused with the similar Doublebar Rabbitfish, Siganus virgatus, which has blue spots on the sides rather than the obvious narrow vertical blue lines, and lacks blue lines on the caudal peduncle.

Species Citation

Siganus doliatus Guérin-Méneville 1829-38, Iconographie du Règne animal de G. Cuvier IV, Poissons 10: 22, Pl. 35 (fig. 1). Type locality: Coast of Buru Island, near New Guinea, Indonesia; Vanikoro Island, Santa Cruz Islands, southwestern Pacific.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Bluelined Rabbitfish, Siganus doliatus Guérin-Méneville 1829-38


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37438009

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:2-15 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:25 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map