Venus Tuskfish

Choerodon Venustus
Venus Tuskfish - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Choerodon Venustus
Other names Blue Parrot, Bluespotted Groper, Pinksided Tuskfish, Roseate Tuskfish, Tuskfish
Size Up to 65 cm (25.5 in)
Weight Up to 5 kg (11 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters amongst sandy, rubble & weedy areas near deeper outer reefs
Depth Range 2 - 30 m (98 ft)
Venus Tuskfish Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Venus Tuskfish is a species of marine fish that is found in the coastal waters and reefs of Queensland and New South Wales in Australia.
  • They have a thick and elongated body, a large head, and a pair of prominent canine teeth that give it a tusk-like appearance. The body of the Venus Tuskfish is generally green or brownish-green, and it has a series of horizontal blue lines along its sides.
  • Venus Tuskfish are carnivorous and feed on a variety of prey including crustaceans, molluscs, and other small fish.
  • The Venus Tuskfish is known for its intelligence and problem-solving abilities. Researchers have observed the Venus Tuskfish using rocks to crack open the shells of its prey, a behaviour that was previously thought to be limited to mammals and birds.
  • The Venus Tuskfish is a solitary and territorial species, often staking out a specific area of reef or structure as its home range.
  • They are most active at dawn and dusk when they venture out to feed, preferring to hide in caves, crevices, and under ledges during the day.
  • They are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning they start off as females and later transition to males as they grow larger.
  • During the breeding season, which typically occurs from September to November, male Venus Tuskfish will build a nest in the sand and attract females to lay their eggs in it.
  • Estimated lifespan is up to 35 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing, Snorkeling & Diving

Venus Tuskfish are popular among recreational anglers due to their large size and strong fighting ability. Observing them in the wild can be challenging, but with patience and careful observation, snorkelers and divers can have a good chance of encountering these elusive fish. They are generally shy and reclusive, preferring to hide in caves, crevices, and under ledges during the day.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Choerodon

Species: Choerodon Venustus

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the Venus Tuskfish in Australia is listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, meaning that it is not currently considered to be at risk of extinction.

Fish Taste Quality

Venus Tuskfish are considered to be a high-quality table fish with firm, white flesh and a mild flavour.

Taste Rating: 3/5

How to catch
Venus Tuskfish

Catch Difficulty: Difficult

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig, Artificial Rig

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

Technique: Keep bait on the bottom, Keep bait close to the reef/structure

Popularity: Highly targeted

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Difficult

Temperament: Shy

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None

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