Bridled Tuskfish, Choerodon frenatus Ogilby 1910

A male (terminal phase) Bridled Tuskfish, Choerodon frenatus, from the Great Barrier Reef off Townsville, Queensland, QMB I.37338, 111 mm SL. Source: Queensland DPI & Fisheries. License: All rights reserved

A small reddish tuskfish overlain with olive brown above the lateral line anteriorly, sides pink, each scale sometimes with a pale blue to lavender spot, and blue diagonal stripes on the snout and below the eye, bases of canine teeth Juveniles are similar to adults.

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

Bridled Tuskfish, Choerodon frenatus Ogilby 1910

More Info


Endemic to the eastern Australia from the Cairns region, Queensland, to about the Clarence River, New South Wales. Small groups inhabit rubble areas at depths of 28–83 m.


Dorsal fin XIII, 7; Anal fin III, 10; Pectoral fin ii, 13–14 (rarely 14).
Second prominent anterior canine in lower jaw distinctly larger than first, directed strongly laterally and curved posterolaterally; dorsal outline of head in adults strongly curved above eyes in lateral aspect, nape nearly horizontal to just behind eyes.


Juveniles similar to adults. Adults red, strongly washed with olive brown above lateral line anteriorly (fig. 36); side pink, uniformly so or with pale blue to lavender spot on each scale behind appressed pectoral fin, spots covering most of scale in large individuals; underside of head, throat and abdomen pearly white; predorsal and interorbital area and blotch on opercle violet; face below and in front of eye orange; 2 dark blue-edged pale blue stripes in front of eye, upper continuing across midline in front of eye, lower across tip of snout, 3rd line from middle of upper jaw to and along ventral edge of eye, and 4th from angle of mouth to preopercular edge, bands somewhat variable between individuals; bases of canine teeth blue. Dorsal and caudal fins green to red; dorsal with pale blue, yellow-edged submarginal stripe; caudal fin washed with gold basally, dorsoposterior and ventroposterior corners broadly hyaline; anal fin white with broad yellow midlateral stripe. Pectoral and pelvic fins hyaline; pelvic fin with lengthwise submarginal yellow line adjacent to leading edge.


Little is known of the life history and ecology of the Bridled Tuskfish. 


The specific name frenatus is apparently from the Latin frenum meaning “bridle” or “rein”, in reference to the halter-like or bridle-like blue lines on the head.

Species Citation

Choerodon frenatus Ogilby 1910, Endeavour Series No. 1 23: 99. Type locality: 19 miles N 30° W from Double Island Point (Queensland), 33 fathoms.


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Bridled Tuskfish, Choerodon frenatus Ogilby 1910


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

Hanel, R., Westneat, M.W., & Sturmbauer, C. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships, evolution of broodcare behavior, and geographic speciation in the wrasse Tribe Labrini. J. Molec. Evol. 55: 776-789.  

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.   

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls.  

Ogilby, J.D. 1910. On some new fishes from the Queensland coast. Endeavour Series No. 1 23: 85-139.  

Puckridge, M., P.R. Last & N. Andreakis. 2015. The role of peripheral endemism and habitat associations in the evolution of the Indo-West Pacific tuskfishes (Labridae: Choerodon). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 64-72. Abstract

Shea, S., Liu, M. & Sadovy, Y. 2010. Choerodon frenatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187529A8559549. Downloaded on 09 September 2017.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384074


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:28-83 m

Habitat:Reef associated, rubble areas

Max Size:18 cm TL


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CAAB distribution map