Beware of the sharp dorsal and anal spines of red throat emperor when handling them. To maximise their eating qualities they should be killed humanely by iki jime or a firm knock to the head before placing them in an ice slurry after bleeding.
- Brownish mottled body with pink/deep red on the inside of the mouth and dorsal fin.
- At night their colour fades to a more uniform light silver.
- This species is a protogynous hermaphrodite which matures first as a female at 3-4 years old (30-35 cm long) before changing to males.
- There appears to be no particular size or age when the sex change to male occurs. Females older than 20 years (50 cm long, 3 kg) have been recorded.
- A large number of similar looking emperors occur in Australian waters. All are closely related and have similar brain locations.
- This species is found near coral reefs on sand and rubble patches throughout the western Pacific including northern Australia south to the central coast of New South Wales.
- Juveniles can be found in inshore areas such as estuaries and mangroves where they are associated with seagrass or hard bottom.
Fish Size Common Length:
35-60 cm, maximum size 90 cm and 9.5 kg.