Cirrhitus pinnulatus (Forster, 1801)
Cirrhitus pinnulatus (Forster, 1801)
Genus: ,

Scientific Name: Cirrhitus pinnulatus

English Name: Stocky hawkfish

Creole Name:

French Name: Empervier de corail

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 10; Dorsal rays: 11; Anal spines: 3; Anal rays: 6.

A large brown hawkfish shading to whitish ventrally. Three rows of white blotches along the flanks and numerous smaller dark brown or reddish brown spots sometimes partially 
obscuring the white blotches. Wavy rusty-orange lines and spots on the head and a dark saddle on the upper part of the caudal peduncle. Lower pectoral-fin rays are thickened 
and elongated and used for perching on hard substratum.


Maturity: Unknown. Max Length: 30.0 cm TL, common length: 23.0 cm TL.

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits reef fronts and rocky shorelines exposed to moderate to strong surge (depth 0-23m, typically 1-3m). Benthic. Feeds primarily on crabs, also on other crustaceans, 
small fishes, sea urchins and brittle stars. Pelagic spawner. Spawning ascents into the water column occurred over a distance of 1.5 to 2.0 m.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is not typically caught in the artisanal fishery due to its habitat preference. It may, like the specimen 
photo’d here, be caught by people fishing from coastal rocks.


Photos courtesy and (c) Gary Elisabeth.


Bray, D.J. (2017). Cirrhitus pinnulatus in Fishes of Australia, (02/03/21).
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2021). FishBase. Cirrhitus pinnulatus (Forster, 1801) Stocky hawkfish (02/03/21).
Greenfield, D. & Williams, I. (2016). Cirrhitus pinnulatus (errata version 2017). The IUCN Red List 2016: (02/03/21).
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. (2019). Cirrhitus pinnulatus, Stocky hawkfish. Seychelles Seatizens. (edited 01/07/22).

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