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Species profile—Cirrhitichthys aprinus (blotched hawkfish)


Animalia (animals) → Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) → Cirrhitidae (hawkfishes) → Cirrhitichthys aprinus (blotched hawkfish)

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Species details

Animalia (animals)
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Cirrhitidae (hawkfishes)
Scientific name
Cirrhitichthys aprinus (Cuvier, 1829)
Common name
blotched hawkfish
WildNet taxon ID
Alternate name(s)
red barred hawkfish
threadfin hawkfish
Conservation significant
Wetland status
Wetland Dependant Species
Pest status
The blotched hawkfish has large, irregular shaped blotches on the side of the body. There is a distinct spot on the operculum (gill cover) behind the eye and tufts of small, thin appendages (cirri) on the tips of the dorsal spines along the backbone. This species grows to 12 cm in length.
The blotched hawkfish occurs in tropical and some warm temperate marine waters of the Indo-Pacific. In Australia it is recorded from the southern to central coasts of Western Australia and from northern Queensland to southern New South Wales.
Distributional limits
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Species environment
This species inhabits coral and rocky reefs around sponges. It also occurs in coastal bays and harbours.
This species is often observed motionless on the bottom, propped up on its thickened lower pectoral fins (below the gills). They do this while surveying their surroundings for food. They have excellent eyesight that allows them to spot prey from a long distance. Blotched hawkfish are usually seen sitting on sponges or pylons.
Hawkfish feed on shrimp, worms and other small prey.
Contributors: Mellisa Mayhew 16/10/2008; Wayne Martin 09/11/2008
Egerton, L. (ed.) (2005). Encyclopedia of Australian Wildlife, (Revised Edition). Readers Digest Pty Ltd, Sydney.
Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. (2006). Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia, Volume 35.2, p. 1345. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood.
Kuiter, R.H. (1996). Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland Ltd, Sydney.
McGrouther, M. (2005). Find a Fish: Blotched Hawkfish, Cirrhitichthys aprinus (Cuvier, 1829). Australian Museum, Sydney, accessed 16/10/2008, [].
Profile author
Mellisa Mayhew (09/11/2008)

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Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0.

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Last updated
20 May 2024