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The Conscientious Marine Aquarist

Hawkfishes, Family Cirrhitidae
Part II

To: Part I, III

 

By Bob Fenner

 


Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus (Bleeker 1855), the Coral Hawkfish. Most widespread species in the family; from all tropical parts of the Indo-Pacific, Red Sea to eastern Pacific. To four inches in length. Below: A wild specimen in Mexico's Baja, one in a repose with a Sarcophyton soft coral in captivity and one in Fiji. At right, the Red Sea and Nuka Hiva, Marquesas.

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Genus Cirrhitops

Cirrhitops fasciatus (Bennett 1828), the Redbarred Hawkfish. Punctuated distribution in the Indo-Pacific, including Hawai'i (where most often shipped from), Reunion, Mauritius, Japan, Madagascar. To five inches overall length. Kailua-Kona, HI images. One of two species in the genus.

Genus Cirrhitus

Cirrhitus pinnulatus (Forster 1801), the Stocky Hawkfish. Indo-Pacific, including the Red Sea. To a foot in length. An occasional import that does well in captivity, including reefs that don't house small motile invertebrates or fishes. Eight and four inch specimens in Hawai'i.

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Cirrhitus rivulatus (Valenciennes 1846), the Giant Hawkfish. Tropical eastern Pacific; Sea of Cortez to Columbia. To twenty inches in length. In Mexico we catch and eat the "China Mero", but it can be kept in very large marine systems. Occasionally collected in Baja. Below: One at the Birch Aquarium in San Diego, another in the Galapagos and profile.
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Genus Cyprinocirrhites:

Cyprinocirrhites polyactis (Bleeker 1874), the Swallowtail Hawkfish. Indo-West Pacific around corner of South Africa into the Atlantic; east Africa to the western Pacific. To six inches in length. Usually not detected, swimming amongst Damselfishes, sometimes Anthiines a few meters off the bottom/reef. Planktonic feeder on crustaceans. One at the S.I.O/Birch Aquarium in San Diego, another in N. Sulawesi.

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To: Part I, III

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