Flame Hawkfish

Flame Hawkfish (Neocirrhites armatus ) as seen in our Sea & Me exhibit.

The reason behind this fish’s name is apparent at first glance. The animal’s entire body is a brilliant crimson red with dark half-moon shapes around the eyes and a dark band that runs parallel with the dorsal fin. Flame Hawkfish are predators, feeding mostly on small fish, invertebrates and crustaceans. Like most reef fish, they generally tolerate other marine species but will chase away other bottom-dwellers if they are intruding on its hunting grounds. Hawkfish live in harems, or large groups of females that are dominated by one large male. If this male disappears or dies, a female hawkfish will spontaneously change gender to replace him. Other fish like wrasses and angelfish have a similar ability.

Range & Habitat

The Flame Hawkfish is commonly found among coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean, from Japan south to Australia. It is a bottom-dweller, often using rocks and pieces of coral on which to perch before ambushing its prey.

Conservation Status

Common.

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