Despite its name, the Chinese trumpetfish is found throughout the Indo-Pacific, from the coast of East Africa to Australia and Japan. It favours shallow sloping reefs (although larger specimens have been found living in caves up to 200 metres
deep). Chinese trumpetfish start their lives as an egg floating on pelagic currents, but soon move inshore to spend their juvenile years in protected seagrass beds and coral nurseries. They can grow as long as 80 centimetres, and are usually solitary. Chinese trumpetfish are poor swimmers, and consequently rely on camouflage and stealth to catch the small fish and shrimp they prey on. As juveniles, their flute-shaped body is brownish-green with white pinstripes; but as they get older they become uniformly yellow.