Blue Tuskfish

Choerodon Cyanodus
Blue Tuskfish - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Choerodon Cyanodus
Other names Blue Groper, Bluebone Groper, Bluetooth Tuskfish, Grey Tuskfish, White Spot Tuskfish
Size Up to 71 cm (28 in)
Weight Up to 8 kg (17.6 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, inshore/offshore reefs amongst sandy, rubble & coral areas
Depth Range 10 - 30 m (98 ft)
Blue Tuskfish Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Blue Tuskfish is found across a broad range of Australian waters, extending from Western Australia’s central coast, throughout the Northern Territory’s coastal regions, and along the entire Queensland coast. There have also been reports of the Blue Tuskfish in northern parts of New South Wales down to Sydney.
  • They have a distinct appearance characterised by a robust body, a prominent forehead, and a protruding jaw, giving it a tusk-like appearance. Its coloration can vary, but adults typically have a bluish-green hue on their upper body, which fades to white on the lower half.
  • Blue Tuskfish are opportunistic predators, feeding on a variety of prey, including crustaceans, molluscs, and small fish. These carnivores use their strong jaws and tusk-like teeth to crush or break apart shells and hard-bodied prey.
  • They are known for their remarkable intelligence and problem-solving abilities. They have been observed using rocks as tools to dislodge prey from crevices or to break open shells for feeding.
  • Blue Tuskfish exhibit complex courtship behaviour during the breeding season. Males often engage in aggressive displays, such as headbutting or pushing other males, to establish dominance and secure mating opportunities with females.
  • Females produce a large number of eggs, which are released into the water column during spawning. The fertilised eggs float near the surface and hatch into larvae, which then drift with the ocean currents before settling in suitable habitat.
  • Their estimated lifespan is between 15 – 20 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing, Snorkeling & Diving

Blue Tuskfish are often targeted in recreational fishing due to their fighting qualities and their culinary value. They are known to put up a good fight when hooked, providing a challenge for anglers. Observing them in the wild can be an exciting experience. They are known for their inquisitive nature and may approach divers or snorkelers. Their vibrant coloration and distinctive appearance make them visually appealing, especially when they swim amidst rocky reefs or kelp forests.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Choerodon

Species: Choerodon Cyanodus

Conservation Status

The Blue Tuskfish is not listed on the IUCN Red List, meaning it’s not currently threatened or considered at risk of extinction.

Fish Taste Quality

Blue Tuskfish are a great eating fish and are considered a delicacy. Their flesh is white, firm, and has a mild, sweet flavour.

Taste Rating: 4/5

How to catch
Blue Tuskfish

Catch Difficulty: Intermediate

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig

Bait: Crab, Fresh cut flesh baits, Pilchards, Prawns, Squid, Worms, Yabbies

Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure

Popularity: Targeted

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Curious

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None

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