Lemon-striped Pygmy Hogfish, Bodianus bennetti Gomon & Walsh 2016

A Lemon-striped Pygmy Hogfish, Bodianus bennetti, in an aquarium in Moorea, French Polynesia - apparent young initial-phase adult, approximately 75 mm SL. Source: Yi-Kai Tea. License: All rights reserved

A small slender hogfish with prominent, broad, red stripes along the head and body in large adults - one along the back and lower part of the dorsal fin, one from the snout along the side ending in a spot on the upper caudal-fin base, and a stripe running along the lower side and lower part of the anal fin onto the caudal fin - and a prominent black spot on the gill cover. The spaces between the red stripes may be yellow.
Males (terminal-phase) are similar with a larger and more distinct red spot on the upper part of the caudal-fin base. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Bodianus bennetti in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Mar 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/5285

Lemon-striped Pygmy Hogfish, Bodianus bennetti Gomon & Walsh 2016

More Info


Known from the northern Great Barrier Reef, Flora Reef in the Coral Sea off north Queensland, and Moorea in French Polynesia. The Lemon-striped Pygmy Hogfish inhabits gentle reef slopes over clean rubble substrates, in areas of high current. The species has recently been filmed by BRUVs on the Great
Barrier Reef in depths of 155-179 m (Sih et al. 2017).


Although the holotype of Bodianus bennetti was red and white when it was caught, after a short time in captivity, it became red and yellow.

Similar Species

Bodianus bennetti resembles B. masudai, B. neopercularis, B. opercularis, and B. sepiacaudus in having prominent, broad, red, longitudinal stripes running the length of the head and body in large adults. Unlike on those species, the lowermost red stripe in B. bennetti does not extend onto the head. Instead, the stripe extends onto the head as, at most, a narrow yellow stripe with other yellow markings below the eye, or a pinkish hue below the eye when yellow is not expressed. The lateral line scale count in B. bennetti of 42 is within the ranges of B. neopercularis (40–43) and B. opercularis (40–46), both of which have red-striped patterns that most closely match that of the new species, while B. sepiacaudus (35–40) and B. masudai (31) have fewer lateral-line scales and distinctive black pigmentation on the caudal fin (all but absent in the former three species) (Gomon & Walsh 2016)


The species is named bennetti in recognition of Timothy Bennett, the collector of the holotype of this species.
The common name, Lemon-striped Pygmy Hogfish, "refers to both the unique yellow pattern present in many individuals and the great assistance generously provided by “Lemon” Yi-Kai Tea in documenting this species".

Species Citation

Bodianus bennetti Gomon & Walsh 2016, J. Ocean Science Foundation 23: 13, Figs 1-2. Type locality: Australia, Coral Sea, Flora Reef off Queensland, outer reef slope, 16°46’30” S, 147°46’53” E, 97 m.


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Lemon-striped Pygmy Hogfish, Bodianus bennetti Gomon & Walsh 2016


Gomon, M.F. & Walsh, F. (2016) A new pygmy hogfish (Labridae: Bodianus) of the subgenus Trochocopus from the tropical southern Pacific Ocean. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 23: 12–20. PDF Open access doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.161604

Sih, T.L., Cappo, M. & Kingsford, M.J. (2017) Deep-reef fish assemblages of the Great Barrier Reef shelf-break (Australia). Science Reports 7: 10886 DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-11452-1 PDF available, Open access

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37 384219


Depth:97-179 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:11 cm SL

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