Redstripe Tuskfish, Choerodon vitta Ogilby 1910

Other Names: Black-stripe Tuskfish, Red Stripe Tuskfish, Red-spot Tuskfish, Striped Tusk-fish

Redstripe Tuskfish, Choerodon vitta. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

A brown to greyish tuskfish becoming white below, with a dark reddish to brown mid-lateral stripe, usually followed by prominent darker spot on the caudal-fin base.

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

Redstripe Tuskfish, Choerodon vitta Ogilby 1910

More Info


Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia, to the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Aru Islands of southeastern Indonesia.
Inhabits open sandy and rubble areas adjacent coastal reefs at depths of 4–75 m.


Dorsal fin XIII, 7; Anal fin III, 10; Pectoral fin ii, 14, rarely 15, dorsal-most ray of moderate length 25.5–41.7% pectoral fin length, ventral-most rays shorter than those above, posterior edge of fin obliquely straight, dorsoposterior corner bluntly pointed, posteroventral corner angular. 
Body moderately deep, 29.8–39.6%SL, head depth 22.2–31.8% SL, caudal peduncle depth 12.0–14.9% SL; head broadly pointed, dorsal profile of snout oblique, snout length 10.9–15.3% SL. 
Predorsal scales approximately 12–15, reaching forward on dorsal midline to or almost to above middle of eye; cheek with small partially embedded scales in about 8 diagonal rows, posteriormost with about 12 or 13 scales to upper extent of free preopercular edge, reaching forward almost to corner of upper lip crease above mouth, with broad naked margin posteriorly and ventrally on preopercle; about 2 rows of 10–12 small scales (2–4 scales in second row dorsally) on subopercle adjacent preopercular edge extending forward nearly to anterior end of ventral preopercular margin; each lateral line scale with mutlple branching laterosensory canal tube;scales above lateral line about 4 or 5; few cephalic sensory canal pores confined to lines or short branches associated with major canals; second pair of canines in lower jaw directed dorsolaterally and curved posteriorly.
Dorsal and anal fins with very low basal sheath comprising 1 or 2 slightly smaller accessory scales at deepest; posterior lobe of dorsal and anal fins not reaching hypural crease; caudal fin double emarginate, upper and lower corners rounded, posterior margin of fin concave, smoothly curved; pelvic fin reaching to or just short of anus, length 20.4–25.0% SL.


Juveniles are whitish with a greyish back and a black midlateral stripe. Adults are greyish above, becoming white below with a broad dark-edged reddish-brown stripe along the midside from below the eye ending in a black elongate oval spot on the caudal fin base. The head is greenish-grey above with yellow on the cheeks and behind the eye, with 2–4 silvery blue lines on the cheek and preorbital. The dorsal and caudal fins are grey, and the anal fin is white.


The specific name vitta is Latin for “ribbon” or “stripe”, in reference to the characteristic dark mid-lateral stripe along the side of this species.

Species Citation

Choerodon vitta Ogilby 1910, Proc. Roy. Soc. Qld 23(1): 13. Type locality: Dobo, Aru Islands (Indonesia).


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Redstripe Tuskfish, Choerodon vitta Ogilby 1910


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Whitley, G.P. 1932. Studies in Ichthyology No. 6. Records of the Australian Museum 18(6): 321-348 figs 1-3 pls 36-39

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384006


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:4-75 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sand/rubble areas

Max Size:20 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map