Bluespotted Tuskfish, Choerodon cauteroma Gomon & Allen 1987

Other Names: Yellow Tuskfish

A Bluespotted Tuskfish, Choerodon cauteroma, at Mary Anne Island sanctuary, Shark Bay area, Western Australia. Source: Julie Shuttleworth / FishBase. License: All rights reserved

A yellowish tuskfish with a dark blotch below the middle of the spinous dorsal fin, a dusky blue-edged stripe from the eye across the gill cover and the pectoral-fin base, a dark stripe from the snout across the gill cover to the lower part of the pectoral-fin base, a blue marking on each body scale, and blue stripes on the rear of the body.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Choerodon cauteroma in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024,

Bluespotted Tuskfish, Choerodon cauteroma Gomon & Allen 1987

More Info


Endemic to western and northern Australia from the Houtman Abrolhos islands, Western Australia, to the Arafura Sea, Northern Australia. The species is common in the Shark Bay region of Western Australia.

Inhabits inner reefs with large boulders and open areas with algal-covered rocks, sponges and other attached invertebrates at depths of 1.5–150 m.


Feeds mostly on hard-shelled invertebrates such as crustaceans, molluscs, crabs and sea urchins.


Taken by commercial and recreational fishers in the north-western regions (Gascoyne and Pilbara/Kimberley) of Western Australia. The flesh is of a high quality and is sold either as fillets or whole fish.
Current regulations place a minimum size limit for tuskfish species of 40 cm in Western Australia. This essentially protects the Bluespotted Tuskfish from capture, as the species rarely reaches that length.


The specific name cauteroma is from the Latin cauteroma meaning “brand” in reference to the characteristic brand-like marking dorsally on the side of the body.

Species Citation

Choerodon cauteroma Gomon & Allen, 1987, Mem. Mus. Vict. 48(1): 25. Type locality: Exmouth Gulf, WA. 


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Bluespotted Tuskfish, Choerodon cauteroma Gomon & Allen 1987


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

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.

Fairclough, D. 2005. The biology of four tuskfish species (Choerodon: Labridae) in Western Australia. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

Fairclough, D.V., K.R. Clarke, F.J. Valesini & I.C. Potter. 2008. Habitat partitioning by five congeneric and abundant Choerodon species (Labridae) in a large subtropical marine embayment. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 77(3): 446–456.

Fairclough, D. & Cornish, A. (Grouper & Wrasse Specialist Group) 2004. Choerodon cauteroma. In: IUCN 2014. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. . Downloaded on 18 June 2014.

Ferry-Graham, L., Wainwright, P., Westneat, M. & Bellwood, D. 2002. Mechanisms of benthic prey capture in wrasses (Labridae). Marine Biology 141: 819-830.

Gomon, M.F. & Allen, G.R. 1987. New Australian Fishes. Part 7. A new species of Choerodon (Labridae). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 48(1): 25-26.

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270.

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.

Travers, M.J. & Potter, I.C. 2002. Factors influencing the characteristics of fish assemblages in a large subtropical marine embayment. Journal of Fish Biology 61(3): 764-784.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384005


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1.5-150 m

Fishing:Commercial, recreational fish

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy & weedy areas

Max Size:43 cm TL


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CAAB distribution map