© Johan Boshoff

Common family name


Scientific name



Hawkfish measure 15cm on average, but can be up to 30cm in length.


Hawkfish have long bodies, its head and torso being bigger than the rest of its body. Its pectoral rays are in fins and are unusually thick. Each dorsal spine is tipped with a frill. They vary in colour from white to red, orange and brown, and some are marked with lines and spots across the body.

General Info

Hawkfish belong to the Cirrhitidae family which comprises of nine genera and 32 species. They perch upright on the reefs using their pectoral fins, which can hold them steady in a strong surge of water. When the dominant male dies, females can change sex. They are pelagic spawners.


Hawkfish feed on small fish, crabs and other crustaceans.


They can be found in all tropical and temperate oceans across the world.


Freckled hawkfish - Paracirrhites forsteri
Longnose hawkfish - Oxycirrhites typus
Horseshoe hawkfish - Paracirrhites arcatus