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HAWKFISH Cirrhitidae

Very aptly named, these small predators behave like hawks, perched and waiting for that opportune moment. Do they have swim bladders ? Maybe somebody can confirm this. Basic food source seems to be small fish and crustaceans.


Only four species exist here:

STOCKY HAWKFISH, Cirrhitus pinnulatus
Photo coming soon

I always found these guys around the surf zone, made it a bit difficult to photograph sometimes, and they were real skitty, never in one place for too long.

BLACKSIDE HAWKFISH, Paracirrhites forsteri

Probably the most common, or more accurately the most noticed due to their size. Can be found resting on corals just waiting for that moment. When observed they patrol their area usually stopping on the same piece of coral on their round. This gives the patient photographer a chance to set up a photographic trap and catch the fish.
I have been fortunate enough to live in Jeddah on the Red Sea and had several dive spots that I frequented, one being Blue Beach at North Obhur. There I was able to monitor juvenile hawkfish growing up into adults.

All photos above taken with Nikon F801, 105mm lens in Aquatica Housing on Fuji Velvia

PIXY HAWKFISH, Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus

Quite a common little fish if you manage to stop and watch the reef. Patience brings its rewards.

Nikon F801, 105mm lens on Fuji Velvia

LONGNOSE HAWKFISH, Oxycirrhites typus

The deep boys, although at Vadoo House Reef one lives at 10M. The Red Sea however is a different story. Only two sites that I ever found these fish was at the BLACK & WHITE and SOUTH TOWER REEF on black coral at 35M

Nikon F801, 105mm lens on Fuji Velvia

The above four species also exist in the Indo-Pacific region and may have different common names.


OMAN HAWKFISH, Cirrhitichthys calliurus

Nikon F3, 60mm lens on Fuji Velvia

ARCEYE HAWKFISH, Paracirrhites arcatus

Photographed on Vadoo House Reef, Maldives
Nikon F801, 105mm lens on Fuji Velvia

DWARF HAWKFISH, Cirrhitichthys falco

Photographed at Tulamben Reef, Bali, Indonesia
Nikon F801, 105mm lens on Fuji Velvia