Heteroscarus acroptilusRainbow cale | Odax acroptilus
Males are brightly coloured with two long dorsal spines, while females have a dull appearance to blend in among seagrasses and macroalgae. Both sexes have teeth fused into a beak in a similar way to the parrot fishes. The species is common in seagrass beds and on reefs but generally remain hidden among plants, and are therefore difficult to observe.
Max Size: 29 cm
Sea Temperature Range: 12.5-23.3°C
Habitat Generalization Index: 11.14
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 (36.0% 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: Solitary (1 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