A common (Ref. 9710) territorial species that inhabits coral reefs, juveniles usually encountered among branches of yellow stinging coral, Millepora
. Adults are found in very shallow waters of coral reefs, usually near top of outer edge where there are caves, holes, and abundant fire coral (Ref. 26938). Feed primarily on algae but also on polyps of fire coral (Ref. 3139) and other invertebrate animal material (Ref. 13442). Juveniles occasionally pick parasites from other species of fish (Ref. 3139). Oviparous, distinct pairing during breeding (Ref. 205). Eggs are demersal and adhere to the substrate (Ref. 205). Males guard and aerate the eggs (Ref. 205). Occasionally marketed fresh (Ref. 3139). Have been reared in captivity (Ref. 35420).