Coral Rabbitfish (species: Siganus corallinus) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Siganus corallinus
Coral Rabbitfish

©Andy Lewis: An adult Coral Rabbitfish

©Andy Lewis: A pair of Coral Rabbitfish attended by a Common Cleaner Fish

©Andy Lewis: A juvenile Coral Rabbitfish
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Siganidae
Genus Siganus
Species Siganus corallinus



Distinguishing features

A medium sized yellowish fish with fine blue dots all over the body, and sometimes a small dark area near the eye. Usually seen in pairs, or sometimes in small groups within larger schools of Bluelined Rabbitfish.


  • Up to 35 cm (Standard length)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Shallow reef flat areas near good coral cover in lagoons and other sheltered backreef habitats.

Can be found in most locations around the island.


The Coral Rabbitfish is a roving herbivore, moving around the reef in pairs and feeding on turf algae, seagrass and macroalgae. They spawn in groups during the warmer months, when fast running tidal currents coincide with dawn and dusk. They are mature at about 2 years of age, and the spawning takes place at a regular lunar phase. There is little published information on the demography or ecology of the Siganidae, but they are likely to be long-lived fishes. Juveniles look similar to the adults, but are always uncommon.

Web resources


  • unspecified - The dorsal and ventral fin spines are poisonous, so care should be taken if handling this fish. First Aid - click here


References that assist with identification

  • Streit, R.P. and D.R. Bellwood (2017). High prevalence of homing behaviour among juvenile coral-reef fishes and the role of body size, Coral Reefs, 36(4): 1083-1095. LIRS catalog number 2091.

Other references

  • Bellwood, D.R., C.H.R. Goatley, J.A. Khan and S.B. Tebbett (2016). Site fidelity and homing in juvenile rabbitfishes (Siganidae), Coral Reefs, 35: 1151-1155. LIRS catalog number 2053.
  • Borsa, P., S. Lemer and D. Aurelle (2007). Patterns of lineage diversification in rabbitfishes, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 44: 427-435. LIRS catalog number 90138.
  • View all references