Bodianus dictynna Click to enlarge image
A Bodianus dictynna at a depth of 26m, 'Captain's Table', Wreck Bay, far northern Great Barrier Reef, November 2001. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 25 cm in length.


Bodianus dictynna can be recognised by its colouration. For many years this species was confused with Bodianus diana, a species that occurs in the Indian Ocean. A common name for the species has not been designated.


Bodianus dictynna can be recognised by its colouration. It has a purplish-brown head and a yellow body. The upper sides have four yellow spots and a region of dark spots posteriorly.

There is a large dark spot on the pelvic fins and anteriorly on the anal fin. The caudal and anal fins both have a smaller black spot. The scales have brown margins.

Juveniles look very different from the adults. They are reddish brown with white blotches and spots on the side of the body. There are large black spots on the fins.

The species was described in 2006 by Martin Gomon of Museum Victoria. For many years the name Bodianus diana was used in Australia for more than one species. East coast 'B.diana' are in fact B. dictynna.


Bodianus dictynna occurs in tropical marine waters of the Western Pacific.In Australia it is known from the coast and offshore islands of north-western Western Australia and from northern Queensland to southern New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.


  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433. (as Bodianus sp)
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  4. Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.
  5. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.
  6. Westneat, M.W. 2001. Labridae. in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (Eds). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 6. Bony Fishes part 4 (Labridae to Latimeriidae), estuarine crocodiles, sea turtles, sea snakes and marine mammals. FAO, Rome. Pp. iii-v, 3381-4218.