Chelmonops curiosus

Western talma
Chelmonops curiosus
Chelmonops curiosus, adult, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Chelmonops curiosus
Chelmonops curiosus, Baird Bay, SA, Photo: Andrew Green
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Chelmonops curiosus
Chelmonops curiosus


Temperate Australasia


Silver body with five black bands down the sides and a blue line inside the rear edge of the high dorsal and anal fins. The species commonly occurs in pairs, which move slowly over the reef picking at small invertebrates.


Max Size: 26 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 13.3-23.3°C

Depth: 2-40m

Habitat Generalization Index: 27.23

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: Widespread (61.9% 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: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney