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BiologyInhabits coastal to inner reefs and estuaries, often in silty habitats (Ref. 48637). Found on lagoon slope and floor (Ref. 30573), also coral reefs. Generally solitary or in pairs (Ref. 4420). Young form small aggregations when common while adults are usually seen solitary, except when nesting and males congregate on certain sand flats adjacent to reefs (Ref. 48637). Feeds on tips of coral branches, gastropods, crustaceans, foraminiferans, and tunicates (Ref. 1602) and also on sea urchins (Ref. 9770). Oviparous (Ref. 205). Nest-guarding females are aggressive (Ref. 9770). Also caught with drive-in nets. Marketed fresh and dried-salted (Ref. 9770). Ciguatoxic in certain areas (Ref. 37816).