Adults inhabit reef flats and lagoon reefs. Frequently occur in colonies associated with live or dead branching staghorn coral (Acropora). Feed on algae, gastropods, sponges, and copepods. Territorial, maintain and 'weed' filamentous algae patches growing on dead coral (Ref. 9710). They attack human intruders without hesitation, sometimes taking painful nips. Particularly aggressive during reproductive periods. The species emit clicking noises during aggressive encounters. Oviparous, males tend the nest visited by several females (Ref. 59295).
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