Red Sea fishes, Longnose hawkfish (Oxycirrhites typus)

Photo credit: To the gentleman who I met once and it is shame to miss his name (thanks friend for the collection you shared with me years ago and forgive my weak memory)

Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal

Introduction: The Longnose hawkfish, Oxycirrhites typus is a species that belongs to hawkfish family Cirrhitidae. Longnose hawkfish reach about 12 cm in total length. Longnose hawkfish is a highly territorial fish and this can lead to significant aggression in the aquarium.

Distribution and habitats: The longnose hawkfish is widely found throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific, the Red Sea, off the coast of eastern Africa to southern Japan, Noumea over to the eastern Pacific, and the lower third of the Sea of Cortez from northern Colombia down to the Galapagos.

Habitats: The Longnose Hawkfish is not a migratory species. It can be found on tropical reefs from a depth of 10 meters to 100 meters. A majority of the specimens live deeper than 30 meters.

Description: The longnose hawkfish enjoys a bright red color and white with mottled markings. The species has much smaller mouth with very long snout and conical teeth adapted for grasping benthic and free-swimming preys. The species possess large eyes. The male of this species is typically larger than the female and more colorful. Males have black margins on their pelvic and caudal fins. It is believed that the species is among the hardiest of all marine fish. The absence of the swim bladder in the species means that caught fish can be rapidly decompressed after capture.

Feeding habits: By nature, longnose hawkfish are carnivores. In nature, they spend most of their time perched on a rock, sea fan, or piece of coral, waiting to make a short, fast rush at a food item. Their conical teeth are modified for grasping benthic and free-swimming crustaceans (their principal diet in the wild), invertebrates and small fish. In nature, they spend most of its time perched on a rock or coral waiting for a suitable target prey to come by whereas the fish quickly strikes out seizes its prey.

In captivity (aquariums), the Longnose Hawkfish will usually accept live, fresh, frozen/defrosted foods, squid, shrimp, and mussels and even after some training, they eat prepared, dry feed.

Reproduction: All hawkfish that have been studied are protogynous, synchronous hermaphrodites—they start life as females and change into males later in life. The Longnose Hawkfish is believed to be monogamous. In captivity, pairs form and females lay demersal eggs. It is believed that the young have not been raised to maturity in captivity.

Red Sea longnose hawkfish

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