Territorial, inhabit shallow lagoon and subtidal reef flats. Form large aggregations above staghorn Acropora thickets or in smaller groups above isolated coral heads. Feed on zooplankton, benthic invertebrates, and algae. Males invite females to spawn in their nests; protecting the eggs until they hatch and becoming very aggressive against other fish. Eggs hatch after 3-5 days; pelagic larvae feed on plankton (Ref. 5503). Oviparous, distinct pairing during breeding (Ref. 205). Used in behavioral study. Have been reared in captivity (Ref. 35412).
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