Beware of the sharp preopercular spines and dorsal spines when handling flagtail 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.
- The flagtail rock cod is a pretty little grouper, with a reddish brown body with a darker brown tail peduncle and a flag-like caudal fin with 2 white to bluish white bands that converge posteriorly.
- The distal end of the pectoral fins are yellowish and in juveniles and some adults the flanks may also be interdispersed with up to 6 mottled light brown vertical bands or bars.
- The flagtail rock cod occurs throughout the tropical parts of the Indo-western and central Pacific, from Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean to French Polynesia and the Pitcairn Islands.
- In Australia this species occurs throughout northern Australia as far south as Perth in WA and the Solitary Islands in NSW.
- This species usually inhabits clear, shallow outer coral reef areas in depths up to 60 m, but occasionally is also found associated with corals in lagoons, back-reef areas, and reef crests.
Fish Size Common Length:
20-25 cm, maximum size 30 cm and 1 kg.