Beware of the sharp preopercular spines and dorsal spines when handling blacktip rock cod. To maximise their eating qualities these fish should be killed humanely by iki jime, or a firm knock to the head before placing them in an ice slurry after bleeding.
- These colourful little cods have a distinctive bright red and cream banded colouration, with thin black lines surrounding each eye.
- Blacktip rockcods mature at around 20 cm long and can possess mature male and female sex organs at the same time (i.e. a simultaneous hermaphrodite).
- As they grow larger some individuals may lose female function and become functional males (i.e. they transition from simultaneous to sequential hermaphrodites).
- This species occurs around coral reefs throughout the Indo-West Pacific region including East Africa from the Red Sea to South Africa, the Indian Ocean and as far east as the Pitcairn Islands, north to southern Japan, and south to southern Queensland, Australia.
- These fish are usually found near coral outcrops in depths ranging between 3 and 30 meters, but can also be found offshore at depths of up to 160 meters.
- Blacktip rock cod feed mainly on crustaceans including crabs, shrimps and stomatopods, but also smaller fishes.
Fish Size Common Length:
20-30 cm, maximum size 40 cm and 2 kg.