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BiologyInhabits coastal and inner reef slopes and lagoons. Usually occurs in large schools that swim fast and well above the substrate, occasionally all diving down to the bottom to feed (Ref. 48637). Juveniles and adults occur in small schools (2-100) around coral reefs, typically in surge zone at reef edge. Juveniles live near the surface in dense aggregations up to several km offshore, migrating to reef flats just prior to metamorphosis. Feeds on algae (Ref. 30573). Juveniles and adults not frequently found in markets; but prejuveniles form a brief but important fishery when migrating on to the reef flat, e.g. combined catch (with Siganus spinus of 16 tonnes in one season in Guam. Prejuveniles eaten fresh, pickled in brine or made into fish paste (Ref. 9813). Consumed as food although it is known to be occasionally poisonous (Ref. 4537). Used in Chinese medicine (Ref. 12166).