Blue Tuskfish, Choerodon cyanodus (Richardson 1843)

Other Names: Blue Groper, Blue Tusk-fish, Blue-bone, Bluebone Groper, Blue-fish, Blue-tooth, Blue-toothed Tusk-fish, Grey Tusk-fish, White Spot Tuskfish

A Blue Tuskfish, Choerodon cyanodus, at Dampier, Western Australia. Source: Graham Edgar / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution

A greenish-grey or rusty brown tuskfish with a large pale patch below the rear of the dorsal fin, blue fin margins with distinctive blue tips on the caudal-fin lobes, and an irregular pale bluish bar along the chin. Some individuals have about 5 indistinct vertical saddles along the back, or a broad pale bar behind the head.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Choerodon cyanodus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 13 Jun 2024,

Blue Tuskfish, Choerodon cyanodus (Richardson 1843)

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Recorded form the Houtman Abrohlos islands, around the tropical north to Sydney, New South Wales. In Western Australia, the species is abundant from Shark Bay northwards. Blue Tuskfish are not found on offshore atolls such as Scott Reef and Ashmore Reef. 
Mostly inhabits sheltered sand and rubble areas of reef flats and flat shelf bottoms of outer reef slopes to about 70 km offshore.


Dorsal fin XIII, 7; Anal fin III, 10. Adults with second prominent anterior canine approximately same size as first, second canine slanted dorsally. 


A protogynous hermaphrodite, changing sex from female to male during the life cycle. In Shark Bay, spawning occurs during summer months, possibly in small groups.


Targeted by commercial and recreational fishers. Bag and size limits apply to this species in Queensland.

Species Citation

Labrus cyanodus Richardson 1843, Annals and Magazine of Natural History 1 11(71): 355. Type locality: Black Point, Port Essington, Queensland.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Blue Tuskfish, Choerodon cyanodus (Richardson 1843)


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384072


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Fishing:Commercial,recreational fish

Habitat:Reef associated, seagrass/macroalgae areas

Max Size:71 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map