DistributionRead full entry
Cephalopholis aurantia is an Indo-Pacific species found around the islands of the western Indian Ocean to Japan and the central Pacific, except for a single specimen caught off the coast of Natal (South Africa). Heemstra and Randall (1993) know of no confirmed records from other continental localities of East Africa, but there is one unconfirmed record from Mozambique (Fennessy pers. comm.). The East African record of Cephalopholis aurantia reported by Morgans (1982) is a misidentification of Cephalopholis nigripinnis.
American Samoa, China, South China Sea (Spratlys), Taiwan, Christmas Island, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji, French Polynesia (Tahiti, Society Islands, Tuamotu Islands), Guam, India (Lakshadweep), Indonesia (Bali, Lesser Sunda Islands, Moluccas, Papua, Sulawesi, Sumatra), Japan (Ryukyu Islands), Madagascar, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius (Rodrígues), Micronesia, Mozambique, New Caledonia (not in Loyalty Islands), Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guienea, Philippines, Pitcairn, Réunion, Samoa, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal), Thailand (not shown in map), Tonga, Tuvalu.
The species is also recorded around Howland Island in the Pacific (B. Mundy pers. comm.). Australian records are based on misidentification of C. spiloparea (Hoese et al. 2006). There are no records of the species from Line or Phoenix Islands (Kiribati), Australia (Hoese et al. 2006), or Raja Ampat (Indonesia), and its occurrence in Malaysia is questionable.