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 polychaetes and fish. A protogynous hermaphrodite (Ref. 55367). May have a coppery or iodine taste or smell in the Indian Ocean (Ref. 2295, 11888). It has been shown that this species can survive for long periods in salinities as low as 10 parts per thousand and therefore it is a potential estuarine aquaculture species (Ref. 2295). Utilized as a food fish.