Harlequin Tuskfish

Choerodon Fasciatus
Harlequin Tuskfish - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Choerodon Fasciatus
Other names Harlequin Wrasse, Australian Harlequin Tuskfish
Size Up to 30 cm (11.8 in)
Weight Up to .50 kg (1.10 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters amongst rocky & coral reefs
Depth Range 3 - 25 m (82 ft)
Harlequin Tuskfish Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Harlequin Tuskfish is a species of marine fish that is found on the east coast of Australia along Queensland.
  • This fish has a distinct and vibrant colouration, usually sporting a pattern of blue, orange, and white vertical stripes or bands. Their “tusks” or elongated canine teeth, visible even when their mouths are closed, are a significant characteristic.
  • Harlequin Tuskfish are carnivorous and eat a diet primarily composed of benthic invertebrates including molluscs, crustaceans, and sea urchins.
  • Unlike many other fish species, Harlequin Tuskfish do not exhibit clear external sexual dimorphism, meaning males and females look similar to one another.
  • Harlequin Tuskfish are diurnal creatures, meaning they are active during the day and rest during the night.
  • They are gonochoristic, meaning they are born one sex and do not change. They mate during warmer months and spawn pelagic eggs, typically in the summer season in Australian waters.
  • Estimated lifespan is up to 10 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing, Aquarium, Snorkeling & Diving

Harlequin Tuskfish are occasionally targeted in recreational fishing due to their impressive appearance, though they are not considered a primary target species. They are popular aquarium fish due to their vibrant coloration and distinctive appearance. However, their care is considered moderately difficult due to their specific dietary and habitat needs. They are a popular fish amongst divers and snorkelers because of their colours.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Choerodon

Species: Choerodon Fasciatus

Conservation Status

Harlequin Tuskfish are not listed as threatened or endangered in Australia. They are relatively common within their range.

Fish Taste Quality

Harlequin Tuskfish are not a highly targeted species to eat due to their small size. Its reported that they have a delicate, sweet flavour similar to other reef fish.

Taste Rating: 2/5

How to catch
Harlequin 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

Harlequin Tuskfish
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate to difficult

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Carnivore

Reef Compatible: Yes

Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None

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