Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus (Bleeker, 1855)
Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus (Bleeker, 1855)
Genus: ,

Scientific Name: Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus

English Name: Coral hawkfish

Creole Name:

French Name: Épervier à points rouges

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 10; Dorsal rays: 12-13; Anal spines: 3; Anal rays: 6.

Small, moderately full-bodied hawkfish. Maxilla reaching or extending past vertical at front edge of eye. 4 rows of scales on cheek. Interorbital space not scaled. Preopercle 
coarsely serrate. 3 scale rows above lateral line. 5th dorsal spine longest. A tuft of cirri near tip of each dorsal spine. Membranes of spinous dorsal fin moderately incised.

Colour. Highly variable in colour. Base colour is light white to pink. Colour of spots varies from grey to black or orangish to red. Horizontal rows of oblong to 
subquadrate spots on body. A row of smaller spots on the lateral line between the larger spots. Small dark spots on head and nape. 2 bands of spots radiate ventrally from eye. 
Spots on the spinous dorsal fin including blotches along the fin base, and spotted soft dorsal and caudal fins. Pectoral fins transparent.  


Maturity: Unknown. Max length : 10.0 cm TL.

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits areas of rich coral growth and clear water of lagoon, channel, or seaward reefs (depth 1-40 m, usually 10-25 m). Benthic. Rest on, in or beneath corals. Feed on 
crustaceans and small fishes. Males are territorial and haremic. Spawning occurs in the water column. 

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is not subject to the artisanal fishery. 


Photo courtesy Eleanor Brighton and Chris Mason-Parker (c) 2022 Blue Safari Seychelles/Marine Conservation Society, Seychelles. Photograph taken at Alphonse group 2022.


Bray, D.J. Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus in Fishes of Australia, (23/07/22). 
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2022). FishBase. (22/07/22).
Greenfield, D. & Williams, I. (2016). Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus (errata version 2017). The IUCN Red List 2016: (22/07/22).
Smith, M. & Heemstra, P. (Eds.) (1999). Smiths’ Sea Fishes Edition 6. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 10.1007/978-3-642-82858-4


Nevill, J.E.G., Brighton, E. & Mason-Parker, C. (2022). Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus, Coral hawkfish. Seychelles Seatizens. 

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