Lyretail Hawkfish, Cyprinocirrhites polyactis Click to enlarge image
A Lyretail Hawkfish at a depth of 10 m, Fly Point, Port Stephens, New south Wales, 18 December 2012. Image: Matt Dowse
© Matt Dowse

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    polyactis
    Genus
    Cyprinocirrhites
    Family
    Cirrhitidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 15 cm in length.

Introduction

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.

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.

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.

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.



Feeding and diet

The species feeds on zooplankton.

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.