As its name implies the species is sometimes yellow in colour, but it is commonly seen in other colour forms. It is often seen by divers as it keeps a lookout at the entrance of its burrow that it shares with one or more alpheid shrimps.
The species has spotted fins and a dark stripe above the upper lip. It is known to have an number of colour forms ranging from whitish to dark like the fish in the movie. The yellow colour form is not the most common so the standard name is not ideal.
It occurs throughout the Western Pacific. In Australia it is known from Western Australia and Queensland.
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.
- Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
- Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.