Grammistes sexlineatus (Thunberg, 1792), type locality not specified.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Black and white–striped soapfish, gold-striped soapfish, six-stripe soapfish; French: Poisson savon bagnard.
Body typically grouper or perch-like but somewhat stout. The head is relatively large. There are 7 spines and 13–14 soft rays in the dorsal fin and 2 spines and 9 soft rays in the anal fin. The caudal fin is truncate. The base color is dark brown to black with a series of yellow stripes running from the snout back to the caudal peduncle. With age, some stripes may break up into dashes. Juveniles have small spots. Fins are pinkish in color. Grows to about 12 in (30 cm) in total length.
Indo-West Pacific, from the Red Sea east to the Marquesas and Mangareva Islands, north to southern Japan and south to northern New Zealand.
This species occurs on coral and rocky reefs, usually in or near caves and under ledges to a depth of 425 ft (130 m).
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Generally an ambush predator, and quite voracious as it feeds upon smaller fishes and crustaceans. May be preyed upon by larger predatory fishes but usually rejected immediately because of the secretion of grammistin, a toxin secreted from glands in the skin that is used as an antipredator mechanism.
Usually solitary, preferring to hide during daylight while foraging at night.
Little is known. Likely a protogynous hermaphrodite with a haremic mating system, pair spawning, and pelagic eggs and larvae.
Not listed by the IUCN.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
An interesting aquarium species, although because of its voracious appetite it must be kept with much larger fishes. Also taken as a minor commercial and subsistence species in some localities. May be ciguatoxic in some areas.
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