Graphic Tuskfish, Choerodon graphicus (De Vis 1885)

Other Names: Blue-toothed Tuskfish

A Graphic Tuskfish, Choerodon graphicus, in New Caledonia. Source: Jeff Dubosc / License: All rights reserved

A large bluish to greenish tuskfish with about 5 to 7 broad irregular dusky bands in juveniles and adults, a distinct dark spot on the lateral line, and a narrow bar from the rear of the eye to the upper pectoral-fin base. Adults have a second prominent dorsally-directed anterior canine, about half the size of the first.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Choerodon graphicus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jun 2024,

Graphic Tuskfish, Choerodon graphicus (De Vis 1885)

More Info


Recorded in Australia from north of Cape York, Queensland, to Red Rock Estuary, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales; also Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in New Caledonia.

Inhabits inshore reefs, lagoons and estuaries with open substrate and rubble areas at depths of 2–43 m.


Feeds mostly on crustaceans, molluscs, sea urchins and other hard-shelled prey.


Taken in both recreational and commercial fisheries in Australia - with a minimum size of 30 cm TL and a bag limit of six fish per angler in Queensland. There are also some closures to the taking of all coral reef fishes including Choerodon species in Queensland east coast waters during the spawning season.


 The specific name graphicus is from the Greek “graphikos”, “of writing”, perhaps in reference to the complex markings on the side of the head and body resembling letters (Gomon 2017).

Species Citation

Choerops graphicus De Vis, 1885, Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S. W. 1 9(4): 878. Type locality: Cardwell, Queensland.


Bray, D.J. 2018


 Australian Faunal Directory

Graphic Tuskfish, Choerodon graphicus (De Vis 1885)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

De Vis, C.W. 1885. New fishes in the Queensland Museum. No. 5. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 9(4): 869-887 Ref. available at BHL

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

Hoey, A.S., Pratchett, M.S., Johansen, J. and Hoey, J. 2014. Marine ecological survey of Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, Lord Howe Commonwealth Marine Reserve. Final report produced for the Department of the Environment. ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville QLD. pp. 101  PDF available

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762.    

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)    

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

Kulbicki, M., Y.-M. Bozec, P. Labrosse, Y. Letourneur, G. Mou-Tham & L. Wantiez. 2005. Diet composition of carnivorous fishes from coral reef lagoons of New Caledonia. Aquat. Living Resour. 18: 231-250.    

Randall, J.E., 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii. 720 pp.    

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.    

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.    

Russell, B.C. 1983. Annotated checklist of the coral reef fishes in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Special Publication Series 1: 1-184 figs 1-2 

To, A. & Liu, M. 2010. Choerodon graphicus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. . Downloaded on 10 April 2014.

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.    

Whitley, G.P. 1956. Ichthyological notes. The Australian Zoologist 12(3): 251-261 (as Choerodon transversalis) Ref. available at BHL

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384075

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-43 m

Fishing:Commercial, recreational fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:80 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map