Inhabits shallow bottoms with coral or rocky formations (Ref. 13628); may be seen cropping all day long on algae (Ref. 33). Usually occurs in groups of five or more individuals. Mainly diurnal species. Feeds on algae. Herbivore (Ref. 33499, 57616). Feeding rate decreases with temperature more rapidly than the mean metabolic rate of teleost fishes (Ref. 59304). The spine on both sides of the caudal peduncle may inflict painful wounds (Ref. 5217). Also cleaned by Pomacanthus paru observed at the reefs of the Abrolhos Archipelago, off eastern Brazil (Ref. 40094). Preferred for sand and chlorophytes and avoided phaeophytes (Ref. 55789).