Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 10 spines and 10 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 9 rays. Pectoral fin with 14 rays. Body depth 2.1-2.7 in standard length. Body oblong. Eyes relatively large. Head profile strongly convex in front of eyes. Cheeks with several rows of scales. Inner base of pectoral fins scaled. Molars present on side of jaws. Maxilla with a longitudinal denticulated ridge.
Colour: Adults bluish grey above, paler below with centers of scales silvery and a few brownish scales generally present on sides. In life may appear either fairly dark and brown or pale and silvery. Juveniles white with 3 dark dorsal saddles; juveniles lose bars on preservation.
Habitat and Biology: Often seen near coral reefs at depths of 3 to 60 m. Nocturnal. Feeds heavily on molluscs, crabs, hermit crabs and sea urchins. Solitary, but large adults form small aggregations.
Distribution: Indo-West Pacific.
Remarks: Two distinct colour forms of Monotaxis grandoculis are seen which led to speculation that two
species may be involved. Normally not caught by Maldivian fishermen.