Animal Species:Lyretail Hawkfish, Cyprinocirrhites polyactis (Bleeker, 1875)

The Lyretail Hawkfish has numerous short filaments at the tip of each dorsal spine. The species occurs in tropical and warm temperate marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific.

Lyretail Hawkfish, Cyprinocirrhites polyactis

Matt Dowse © Matt Dowse

Standard Common Name

Lyretail Hawkfish

Alternative Name/s

Swallowtail Hawkfish

Identification

The Lyretail Hawkfish has numerous short filaments at the tip of each dorsal spine. It has a greatly elongated first dorsal ray (in the middle of the dorsal fin), long lower pectoral rays and a lunate caudal fin with filamentous upper an lower rays. Its colour varies from pink to brown.

It differs from the other Australian species of hawkfishes by its shorter snout and lunate caudal fin. Lyre-tail Hawkfish resembles the tropical fairy basslets in looks and behaviour, but can be distinguished by the long first dorsal ray that projects from the middle of the dorsal fin.

Size range

The species grows to 15 cm in length.

Distribution

The Lyretail Hawkfish occurs in tropical and warm temperate marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific. In Australia it is known from Western Australia and from the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland to southern New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Cyprinocirrhites polyactis

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Lyretail Hawkfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

Most Australian species of hawkfishes are usually seen on the bottom. The Lyretail Hawkfish is atypical because it is often seen well off the bottom.

Feeding and Diet

The species feeds on zooplankton.

Classification

Species:
polyactis
Genus:
Cyprinocirrhites
Family:
Cirrhitidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  2. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  6. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Lyretail Hawkfish, Cyprinocirrhites polyactis, Cirrhitidae, red, yellow, 'normal fish', 10 cm - 30 cm, blotches/mottled, coral reef, marine, adult,