Yellowfin Pigfish

Bodianus Flavipinnis
Yellowfin Pigfish - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Bodianus Flavipinnis
Family Wrasse / Labridae
Size Up to 37 cm (14.5 in)
Weight Up to 2.5 kg (5.5 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Deep water reefs amongst caves & under ledges
Depth Range 5 - 50 m (164 ft)
Yellowfin Pigfish Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Yellowfin Pigfish is a species of reef-dwelling fish found along the eastern and southern coasts of Australia, from southern Queensland to New South Wales, and around Tasmania. They are primarily found in temperate and subtropical waters.
  • These fish have a compact and oval-shaped body with a large head. They are characterised by their distinct coloration. They have a reddish-pink body with a yellow tail fin, which gives them their common name.
  • Yellowfin Pigfish primarily feed on a diet consisting of small crustaceans, molluscs, and other invertebrates. They use their sharp teeth and powerful jaws to crush and consume their prey.
  • The Yellowfin Pigfish is a protogynous hermaphrodite, which means they have the ability to change sex during their lifetime. They typically start their lives as females and may later transition into males.
  • Spawning typically occurs during specific seasons, but the exact timing can vary depending on location and environmental factors. Some species within the same family may spawn during spring or summer when water temperatures are warmer.
  • Juvenile Yellowfin Pigfish often seek shelter in rocky crevices and caves to avoid predation by larger predatory fish. As they grow and mature, they become less dependent on such shelter and venture out into more open reef areas.
  • Their estimated lifespan is between 10 – 15 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing, Snorkeling & Diving

The Yellowfin Pigfish is not a commonly targeted species for recreational fishing. They are more frequently encountered as bycatch when targeting other reef fish species. Observing them in the wild can be an exciting experience for snorkelers and scuba divers. They are often found in groups or small schools, moving gracefully among the reefs and seafloor. Their colourful appearance makes them visually appealing to observe.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Bodianus

Species: Bodianus Flavipinnis

Conservation Status

The Yellowfin Pigfish is not specifically listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) or the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. It is not listed as a threatened or protected species under national legislation, such as the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Fish Taste Quality

Yellowfin 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
Yellowfin Pigfish

Catch Difficulty: Intermediate

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig

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

Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure

Popularity: Targeted

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Intermediate

Temperament: Shy

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None

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