Endemic to East Australian waters, this reef fish has a brown body colour with no distinct markings, but is particularly striking with its golden belly, golden pectoral, pelvic and anal fins and a lighter golden outer ring around the eyes.
The body and head colour is predominantly brown, but on the belly it is yellow-orange.
A blue stripe runs from the muzzle to the middle part of the dorsal fin. Blue or purple spots are on the gill covers.
Each scale has a dark brown stripe near its edge, which appears as a series of narrow transverse bands.
The caudal fin is light brown to brown, the outermost part is translucent to yellowish. The anal and pelvic fins are yellow to orange.
The pectoral fins are transparent, with a yellow colour and a small dark spot at the base.
The reef perch is found in coral reefs and rocky reefs from the northern coral sea to the southern Tasman Sea.
However, we have no information about successful long-term keeping in a large reef aquarium.
Similar species: Stegastes fasciolatus (Ogilby, 1889)