Monacanthus chinensis

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Monacanthus chinensisMonacanthus chinensis, WA, Australia, Photo: Graham Edgar
Monacanthus chinensisMonacanthus chinensis, Dampier, WA, Photo: Andrew Green
Monacanthus chinensisMonacanthus chinensis, NSW, Australia, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Monacanthus chinensisMonacanthus chinensis, Narooma, NSW, Photo: Andrew Green
Monacanthus chinensisMonacanthus chinensis, juvenile, Batemans Bay, NSW, Photo: Andrew Green
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Monacanthus chinensis
Monacanthus chinensis
Monacanthus chinensis
Monacanthus chinensis
Monacanthus chinensis


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Deep-bodied with unique ventral flap that is raised and lowered as a flag for communication. Colour and markings variable, but often with combination of spots, honeycomb mosaic and dark blotches overlaid. Often associated with seagrass.


Max Size: 38 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 15.3-30.6°C

Depth: 1-50m

Habitat Generalization Index: 4.14

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: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Infrequent (4.4% 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: extract from RD Stuart-Smith, GJ Edgar, AJ Green, IV Shaw. 2015. Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland

Further Information