Skip links and keyboard navigation

Species profile—Cirrhitus pinnulatus (whitespotted hawkfish)


Animalia (animals) → Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) → Cirrhitidae (hawkfishes) → Cirrhitus pinnulatus (whitespotted hawkfish)

Sighting data

KML | CSV | GeoJson

Species details

Animalia (animals)
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Cirrhitidae (hawkfishes)
Scientific name
Cirrhitus pinnulatus (Forster, 1801)
Common name
whitespotted hawkfish
WildNet taxon ID
Conservation significant
Wetland status
Wetland Dependant Species
Pest status
The whitespotted hawkfish has large alternating blotches of white and brown on the body. Numerous small red to brown spots cover the entire body (except the head), including the tail and dorsal fins. The face is covered in wavy brown lines or blotches that may appear more yellow-orange on the cheek. The pectoral fin behind the gills has thin red stripes.
The whitespotted hawkfish is found in tropical marine waters of the Indo-west-central Pacific from the eastern coast of Africa, north to Japan, east to Hawaii and south to Australia. In Australia it is known from Lizard Island to Escape Reef on the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. It is also found at Ningaloo and Scott Reefs, Western Australia.
Distributional limits
0, 0
0, 0
Species environment
Hawkfish usually inhabit reef crests of shallow, inshore areas and often in strong surge zones.
Hawkfish are generally observed perched on their thickened pectoral fins. They sit in this manner on the bottom, while observing their surroundings for food. Hawkfish have excellent eyesight, enabling them to see prey from a long distance.
Most hawkfish feed on small vertebrate prey such as shrimp, worms or fish.
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.
Froese, R. & Pauly, D. (eds). (2008). FishBase, version (09/2008). World Wide Web electronic publication, Accessed 09/11/2008 .
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, pp. 1345-1346. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood.
Profile author
Mellisa Mayhew (09/11/2008)

Other resources

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.

More species information

Get a list of species for your area or find other wildlife information.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
8 March 2022
  1. Is your feedback about:
  2. (If you chose ‘website’ above)

    Page feedback

    1. How satisfied are you with your experience today? *
  3. (If you chose ‘service’ above)

    Feedback on government services, departments and staff

    Please use our complaints and compliments form.