Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 11 spines and 23-25 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 17-18 rays. Pectoral fin with 15 rays. Body depth 1.5 in standard length. Bony projections on nape and above eyes. The fourth dorsal spine only slightly longer than fifth.
Colour: Overall dark brown to black with a narrow white band from upper nape across gill cover. Second white band in the middle. Third oblique white band on dorsal part of body.
Habitat and Biology: Usually occurs along the reef slope in pairs or small groups under overhangs and near the entrances of dark crevices at depths between 2 and 20 m.
Distribution: Maldives to Western Indonesia.
Remarks: Heniochus pleurotaenia is closely related to H. varius (Cuvier) of the Pacific. But the two can easily be separated by colour pattern. H. pleurotaenia has an extra white band that originates at the base of the anal spines and extends to the middle of upper sides.