Callionymida – Hawkfish

Hawkfish belong to the family of Cirrhitidae. The species of Hawkfish available in the aquarium trade consist of Cirrhitus, Oxycirrhitus, Neocirrhitus, Paracirrhites, and Amblycirrhites. They are found in tropical waters throughout the world, and are associated with coral reefs.

Many Hawkish reach a size of three inches in an aquarium, and the largest member of the family reaches an adult size of over 20 inches in the wild. Hawkfish are closely related to Morwongs. Most Hawkfish have cirri, or hairs on the tips of their dorsal (top) fins, and also behind their nostrils.

Interestingly Hawkfish get their name from their hunting techniques, which are like to a hawk. The fish will rest atop the highest point on the coral reef, waiting for suitable prey to appear. The fish will then dive down to capture prey. They consume plankton, crustaceans, and small fish in the wild.

Hawkfish are hardy aquarium specimens that adjust well to life in an aquarium. They can do well in reef aquariums, although they will eat smaller shrimp and fish.

Common NameScientific Name
Spotted Hawkfish, Coral hawkfishCirrhitichthys oxycephalus
Longnose hawkfishOxycirrhites typus
Blackside hawkfish , Foster’s HawkfishParacirrhites forsteri
Arc Eye HawkfishParacirrhites arcatus

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