Family: CIRRHITIDAE (Hawkfishes)
Whitish or pink body, with squarish red to brown spots. Adults grow to 8 cm (about 3 inches) in length.
Range and Habitat
The coral hawkfish is widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific. It also occurs in the tropical eastern Pacific where it ranges from the Gulf of California to Ecuador including the Galapagos Islands. It is usually associated with coral heads at from near the surface to depths of about 15 meters (45 feet).
The hawkfish is an ambush predator. It is always alert, remaining motionless for long intervals as it waits for prey mainly small crustaceans and small fishes. Its modified pectoral fins have stout free pectoral rays adapted for perching. At night it hides deep in the coral branches for protection.
Text by Patricia Beller
Photographs from Ocean Oasis,
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