- Terminal Phase. Photo (c) 2019 John Nevill.
- Initial Phase. Photo (c) 2019 John Nevill.
- In Transition. Photo (c) 2019 John Nevill.
Dorsal spines: 9; Dorsal rays: 12 (rarely 11 or 13); Anal spines: 3; Anal rays: 12 (rarely 11 or 13).
Body slightly to moderately deep and laterally compressed. Caudal peduncle deeper than long. Caudal fin truncate to slightly rounded. Small, terminal mouth with moderately fleshy lips. Pair of forward-projecting incisiform teeth at front of each jaw. Nostrils small, the anterior in a short tube, the posterior with a small flap at front. No scales on fins, except on base of caudal fin.
Colour of Initial Phase. Body brown shading to reddish-brown ventrally, each scale with a dark edged pale blue spot. Head reddish brown to orange brown with pattern of dark-edged narrow blue lines. Dorsal fin brown with small dark-edged blue spots, a narrow blue margin and black sub-marginal lin. Anal fin brownish-red with 2 or 3 rows of small dark-edged blue spots, a narrow blue margin, and black sub-marginal line. Caudal peduncle with reddish hue on upper and lower margins. Caudal fin brown with small dark-edged blue spots and blue margins. Pectoral fin with a dusky orange-red bar, edged in blue, the upper portion blackish.
Colour of Terminal Phase (males). Body olive coloured with flanks having a bright blue vertical line on each scale. Head with irregular, narrow, dark-edged, blue bands and a broad blue band across anterior interorbital space. Commonly with a broad light green bar on side originating from sixth dorsal spine. Anterior to the green bar and onto the nape is darker coloured reddish to reddish-brown. Dorsal and anal fins reddish-brown with bright blue basal and marginal stripes. Dorsal fin with a median band of dark-edged blue spots. Anal fin with one or two blue stripes. Caudal fin reddish-brown with bright blue margins and blue stripes in centre of fin. Pectoral fin with blue rays and base with orangish to dusky blue-edged bar, the upper portion of which is blackish.
Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 42cm TL.
Habitat and Ecology:
Occurs in shallow protected reefs, lagoons and the surge zones of coral reefs and rocky shores (depth 3-30m). Occurs singly, in pairs or groups. Tiny juveniles swim with head towards the bottom and slowly undulate the body with the appearance of a leaf in the current. Juveniles reported to feed primarily on small benthic crustaceans and polychaetes, adults take larger crustaceans, molluscs and polychaetes. Diurnally active and buries itself at night. Sexually dimorphic, dominant males guarding harems and patrolling the territory. Males build dish shaped nests and guard the eggs.
This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in fish traps and occasionally caught in nets that drag along the bottom, but is a relatively uncommon component of the catch.
Bray, D.J. 2019. Anampses caeruleopunctatus in Fishes of Australia, (03/06/19),
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Eds. 2018. FishBase. (03/06/19).
Randall, J.E., 1986. Labridae. p. 683-706. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
Shea, S. et al 2010. Anampses caeruleopunctatus. The IUCN Red List 2010: e.T187716A8610799. . (03/06/19).