Inhabit rocky reefs (Ref. 9702). Also occur in estuaries (Ref. 9563). Juveniles mainly inhabit inlets, bays and other shallow, sheltered marine waters, often over mud and seagrass (Ref. 6390). Small fish measuring less than 30 cm TL are common inshore around reef areas often in groups of around 30 individuals. Larger fish are shy and are less frequently seen (Ref. 26966). Adults often live near reefs, but are also found over mud and sand substrates (Ref. 6390). They are relatively sedentary. However, tagging studies have shown them capable of substantial migrations (Ref. 28591). Crustaceans (crabs, shrimps, etc) form the basis of the diet, but marine worms, starfish, sea urchins, shellfish and fish are also important (Ref. 28591). Not commercially cultured at present but considered as a prime aquaculture candidate (Ref. 28590). Maximum estimated age for SW Pacific is 54 years with validated longevity on the order of 40 years based on minimum age from bomb radiocarbon dating (Ref. 92924; Allen Andrews, pers.comm. 01/13).
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