Bluetooth Tuskfish, Choerodon typus Bleeker 1857

Other Names: Bluebanded Wrasse, Blue-banded Wrasse, Blue-toothed Tuskfish

A Bluetooth Tuskfish, Choerodon typus, from Sorsogon Public Market, Luzon, Philippines. Source: Jeffrey T. Williams / Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

An olive-green tuskfish becoming somewhat orange to pink below, with a black bar between the lateral line and the middle of the spinous dorsal-fin base, many oblique yellow-edged blue lines on the side, and angled blue lines on the head. This small slender tuskfish was previously known as Xiphocheilus typus (Gomon 2017).

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2024, Choerodon typus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jul 2024,

Bluetooth Tuskfish, Choerodon typus Bleeker 1857

More Info


Recorded in Australia from the Cobourg Peninsula, Northern Territory, to off Yamba, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific, from India to New Caledonia.
Inhabits sandy bottoms and rubble areas near reefs in depths of 15-85 m.


Dorsal fin XII, 8; Anal fin III, 10, rarely 9 or 11; Pectoral fin ii, 14, rarely 12, 13 or 16, dorsalmost ray of moderate length 24.6–33.8% pectoral fin length, ventralmost rays shorter than those above, posterior edge of fin obliquely straight, dorsoposterior corner bluntly pointed, posteroventral corner angular. 
Body shallow, 24.6–31.5% SL, head depth 22.1– 26.9% SL, caudal peduncle depth 12.7–15.2% SL; head blunt, dorsal profile of snout steep, snout snout length 7.9–9.8% SL. 
Predorsal scales approximately 7–10, reaching forward on dorsal midline to or slightly in advance of above centre of eye; cheek covered by large imbricate scales in about 3 nearly vertical rows, posteriormost with about 6 scales to upper extent of free preopercular edge, reaching forward in advance of corner of upper lip crease above mouth, below posterior half of eye, with narrow naked margin posteriorly and ventrally on preopercle; about 5 large scales covering subopercle forward to about anterior end of ventral preopercular margin; each lateral line scale with multiple branching laterosensory canal tube; scales above lateral line about 2 or 2½; cephalic sensory canal pores numerous but confined to lines or short branches associated with major canals; second pair of canines in lower jaw directed anterodorsally and slightly laterally; dorsal and anal fins without basal sheath, 1–3 progressively smaller accessory scales adjacent to fin base; posterior lobe of dorsal and anal fins barely reaching hypural crease at most; caudal fin truncate to slightly rounded, upper corner slightly produced in largest individuals; pelvic fin reaching well short of anus in small individuals, just beyond anus in largest, length 18.5–26.5% SL. (See Table 2 for additional meristic and morphometric ranges.) 


May be taken as bycatch in prawn trawl fisheries.


The specific name typus is from the Greek typos (figure or mark), most likely in reference to the black band dorsally on the side below the central dorsal fin spines.

Species Citation

Xiphocheilos typus Bleeker1857, Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 12: 224. Type locality: Nias Island, Indonesia.


Bray, D.J. 2024


Australian Faunal Directory

Bluetooth Tuskfish, Choerodon typus Bleeker 1857


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.

Blaber, S.J.M., Brewer, D.T. & Harris, A.N. 1994. Distribution, biomass and community structure of demersal fishes of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 45(3): 375-396.

Bleeker, P. 1857. Bijdrage tot de kennis der ichthyologische fauna van Nias. Natuurwetenschappelijk Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 12: 211-228

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. 1997. Relationships of fishes of the labrid tribe Hypsigenyini. Bulletin of Marine Science 60(3): 789-871 figs 1-39, 4 tables

Gomon, M.F. 2017. A review of the tuskfishes, genus Choerodon (Labridae, Perciformes), with descriptions of three new species. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 76: 1-111 

Günther, A. 1880. Report on the shore fishes procured during the voyage of H.M.S Challenger, in the years 1872–1876. Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger 1873–1876, Zoology 1(6): 1-82 pls 1-32 (as Xiphochilus quadrimaculatus)

Kuiter, R.H. 2010. Labridae fishes: wrasses. Seaford, Victoria, Australia : Aquatic Photographics pp. 398. 

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293.

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1985. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls.
Shea, S., Liu, M., Craig, M.T. & Rocha, L.A. 2010. Xiphocheilus typus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. . Downloaded on 20 July 2012.

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:37384014


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:35-85 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sand/rubble areas

Max Size:12 cm SL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map