Bodianus axillaris

Coral hogfish | Axil Hogfish | Axil Pigfish | Axilspot Hogfish | Bicolor Wrasse | Polkadot Wrasse | Turncoat Hogfish
Bodianus axillaris
Bodianus axillaris, NSW, Australia, Photo: Ian Shaw
Bodianus axillaris
Bodianus axillaris, juvenile, Red Sea, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Bodianus axillaris
Bodianus axillaris, Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, Qld, Photo: Andrew Green
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Bodianus axillaris
Bodianus axillaris
Bodianus axillaris


Temperate Australasia, Tropical Indo-Pacific


Reddish-brown front half of body obliquely separated from white rear body, and tail fin and base tinged orange. Pectoral fin base with large black spot, and black spots on rear of dorsal and anal fins. Juveniles dark red-brown/black with large white patches on snout, body and base of tail. B. mesothorax (Eclipse Pigfish) lacks spots on fins and has a black wedge dividing light and dark body sections.


Max Size: 20 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 20-31.2°C

Depth: 2-100 m

Habitat Generalization Index: 19.74

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Occurrence: Common (30.3% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Few (2 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: Joe Shields