Blotched Hawkfish, Cirrhitichthys aprinus Click to enlarge image
Blotched Hawkfish at Fly Point, Port Stephens, New South Wales, 18 December 2012. Image: Matt Dowse
Matt Dowse

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    aprinus
    Genus
    Cirrhitichthys
    Family
    Cirrhitidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 12 cm in length.

Introduction

The Blotched Hawkfish occurs in tropical and some warm temperate marine waters. Found in and around sponges on rocky reefs and shallow estuaries.

Identification

The Blotched Hawkfish has large, irregular shaped blotches on the sides of the body. There is a distinct spot on the operculum behind the eye and cirri on the tips of the dorsal spines.

Distribution

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.

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.



Other behaviours and adaptations

Like most of the hawkfishes, this species is often observed motionless on the bottom, propped up on its thickened lower pectoral fin rays.

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. 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.
  3. Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. Pp. 544.
  4. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  6. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  7. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.