Found over reef areas and adjacent sandy and seagrass areas (Ref. 30573, 41878). Feeds mainly on echinoderms (most frequently sea urchins), crustaceans and fishes; mollusks, tunicates, sponges, polychaetes and other worms are consumed in lesser quantities. A protogynous hermaphrodite (Ref. 55367). In most areas of the Red Sea, it is considered an excellent food fish but in certain areas of the Indian Ocean it may have an unpleasant 'coral' smell and taste (Ref. 2295, 11888). Utilized fresh for broiling and baking (Ref. 9987).