Lyretail Pigfish

Bodianus Anthioides
Lyretail Pigfish - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Bodianus Anthioides
Other names Lyretail Hogfish
Size Up to 21 cm (8.2 in)
Weight Under .40 kg (.88 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters amongst outer reef slopes & ledges
Depth Range 5 - 60 m (196 ft)
Lyretail Pigfish Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Lyretail Pigfish is primarily found in Queensland waters. While it may have a more limited distribution in terms of Australian states, it does inhabit the northeastern region, including the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Lyretail Pigfish have an elongated and slightly compressed body shape. The upper part of their body displays a vibrant reddish-pink coloration and their most distinctive feature is their lyre-shaped tail fin, with bright red or pink edges.
  • They are opportunistic carnivores, feeding on a variety of small invertebrates and crustaceans such as shrimps, crabs, and small fishes. They use their protractile mouth and sharp teeth to capture and consume their prey.
  • Lyretail Pigfish are generally non-territorial and tend to form loose aggregations or schools, especially during the breeding season. These aggregations can consist of both males and females, with males defending their territories within the group.
  • They are known to have a relatively slow growth rate, with females reaching sexual maturity at around 3 to 4 years of age, while males reach maturity at approximately 5 to 6 years. This slow growth and late maturation contribute to their long lifespan.
  • Breeding typically occurs during the summer months, between December and February, although regional variations in breeding season may exist. In general, they have a complex mating system where large males establish territories and court females through displays of colour and behaviour.
  • Their estimated lifespan is between 15 – 20 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing, Snorkeling & Diving

The Lyretail Pigfish is not specifically targeted for recreational fishing. However, it can occasionally be caught incidentally by anglers targeting other species. When caught, they are typically released due to their relatively small size. Observing them in the wild can be an exciting experience for divers and snorkelers. Their bold coloration and unique tail shape make them visually appealing, especially when seen against the backdrop of vibrant coral reefs.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Bodianus

Species: Bodianus Anthioides

Conservation Status

The Lyretail Pigfish is currently not listed as a threatened or endangered species. It is classified as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is considered to have a stable population in its range.

Fish Taste Quality

Lyretail Pigfish are considered to be good to eat. It has firm, white flesh with a mild and delicate flavour. When cooked, the meat retains its moisture and tends to flake nicely.

Taste Rating: 3/5

How to catch
Lyretail Pigfish

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig

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

Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure

Popularity: Not targeted - Bycatch

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None

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