Inhabit coral reefs, coralline lagoons, seagrass beds, mangrove swamps and coastal sand and rock areas. Adults solitary or in small schools; juveniles form large schools in shallow, sheltered sandy areas, also harbors where in seagrasses, algae or sponge habitats at various depths. Feed on echinoderms, mollusks and crustaceans, and to some extent on fish. May have a coppery or iodine taste or smell in the Indian Ocean. Utilized as a food fish.
Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea, Persian Gulf and East Africa to southern Japan and Samoa.