Baldchin Groper, Choerodon rubescens (Günther 1862)

Other Names: Baldchin Tuskfish, Baldchin Wrasse, Tuskfish, Westralian Baldchin Groper

A male Baldchin Groper, Choerodon rubescens, at the Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Source: Graham Edgar / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution


A large wrasse with protruding tusk-like teeth in both jaws, and a distinctive white chin and white pectoral-fin base. Baldchin Groper vary in colour, and range from yellowish-brown in juveniles to pinkish-grey or greenish-blue in large males.

Baldchin Groper, found only in Western Australia, are very popular with commercial fishers and recreational anglers.

Video of a Baldchin Groper foraging for food by disturbing the sediment with its pectoral fins.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Choerodon rubescens in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jul 2020,

Baldchin Groper, Choerodon rubescens (Günther 1862)

More Info


Endemic to Western Australia between  Coral Bay and Cape Naturaliste, and most abundant at the Abrolhos Islands, about 70 km west of Geraldton.

Adults inhabit coastal and offshore reefs, while juveniles often shelter in shallow weedy areas near reefs.


Carnivores - feed on benthic invertebrates such as squid, octopus, sea urchins and sometimes crustaceans.


Baldchin Groper are protogynous hermaphrodites, and begin their adult life as females before changing sex during their life cycle to become males. Although they are solitary or live in small groups, during the breeding season, individuals form large spawning aggregations of up to one hundred fish.


Highly prized by both commercial and recreational fishers, and considered very good eating. The minimum legal size limit for retention (commercial and recreational) is 40 cm, which is above the length at sexual maturity of about 29 cm.

Species Citation

Choerops rubescens Günther 1862, Cat. fishes Brit. Mus. 4: 97. Type locality: Houtman Abrolhos, WA.


Dianne J. Bray


Australian Faunal Directory

Baldchin Groper, Choerodon rubescens (Günther 1862)


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384039

Biology:Able to change sex

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-30 m

Fishing:Commercial & recreational fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:100 cm TL


Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map