Harlequin Tuskfish, Choerodon fasciatus (Günther 1867)

Other Names: Harlequin Tusk Fish, Harlequin Tusk-fish

A Harlequin Tuskfish, Choerodon fasciatus, at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: Rick Stuart-Smith, Reef Life Survey / Lizard Island Field Guide, http://lifg.australianmuseum.net.au/. License: CC by Attribution


A colourful  and easily recognised wrasse with 7 or 8 pairs of prominent alternating orange to reddish, blue, white and blackish bands. Juveniles have brownish banding and  ocelli in the dorsal and anal fins.

Harlequin Tuskfish have blue teeth!

Video of a harlequin Tuskfish in the Great Barrier Reef Aquarium, Reef HQ, Townsville, Queensland

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Choerodon fasciatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1923

Harlequin Tuskfish, Choerodon fasciatus (Günther 1867)

More Info


Known in Australia from Cape York to Moreton Bay, QLD. Elsewhere, in the West Pacific, and common in parts of its range.


benthic invertebrates including molluscs, crustaceans, polychaete worms and echinoderms.


Reportedly forms monogamous pairs.


The taking of this species is regulated in Queensland waters.

Species Citation

Xiphochilus fasciatus Günther 1867, Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1867: 101. Type locality: Cape York, QLD.


Dianne J. Bray

Harlequin Tuskfish, Choerodon fasciatus (Günther 1867)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. 292 pp.

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Günther, A. 1867. Descriptions of some new or little known species of fishes in the collection of the British Museum. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1867: 99-104 pl. 10

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Ryan, S. & Clarke, K. 2005. Ecological assessment of the Queensland marine aquarium fish fishery. A report to the Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage on the ecologically sustainable management of the Queensland marine aquarium harvest fishery.

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.

Whiteman, E.A. & Côté, I.M. 2004. Monogamy in marine fishes. Biological Reviews 79: 351-375.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384073


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:5-35 m

Fishing:Popular aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:30 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map