Paracirrhites forsteri (Schneider, 1801)
Paracirrhites forsteri (Schneider, 1801)
Genus: ,

Scientific Name: Paracirrhites forsteri

English Name: Blackside hawkfish

Creole Name:

French Name: Épervier à bande noire

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


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

Moderately full-bodied Hawkfish. Snout short. Mouth large, the maxilla reaching posterior to a vertical at centre of eye. Continuous dorsal fin, notched between spinous and 
soft portions. Caudal fin slightly rounded.

Colour. Body yellowish with broad blackish band on upper flank. Head and anterior part of body with small dark reddish spots. Colour changes with growth as well as varies 
among adults. Fins varying from yellowish to pink. Juveniles may be red dorsally. The red and yellow phase was initially described as a distinct species. 



Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 22cm TL, commonly to 18cm TL.

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits clear lagoon or seaward reefs (depth 1-35m). Occurs openly on coral and soft-bottom habitats, often observed sitting on live coral (typically of Stylophora, 
Pocillopora, and Acropora). Feeds mainly on small fishes and crustaceans. Kadota & Sakai (2016) studied its breeding behaviour and found: large males maintained territories 
and defended them against other large males. Females usually stayed outside of male territories during the day and moved to prominent coral heads within male territories 
during the late afternoon for mating. Large males spawned with several females around sunset, and females seldom changed their mating partners. Small males placed their 
territories against other small males within/around the territories of large males and pair-spawned with small females.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is has not been observed in the fishery catch, but elsewhere is reported to occasionally be caught on 
hook and line.


Photo. courtesy and (c) 2020 Krishna Ashok.
Photos courtesy Eleanor Brighton and Chris Mason-Parker (c) 2022 Blue Safari Seychelles/Marine Conservation Society, Seychelles. Photograph taken at Alphonse group 2022.


Fischer, W. & G. Bianchi (eds), (1984).  FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing Area 51). Prepared and printed with the 
support of the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). Rome, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, vols 1-6.
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2020). FishBase. (28/04/20).
Greenfield, D. & Williams, I. (2016). Paracirrhites forsteri (errata version 2017). The IUCN Red List 2016: (28/04/20).
Kadota, T. & Sakai, Y. (2016). Mating system of the freckled hawkfish, Paracirrhites forsteri (Cirrhitidae) on Kuchierabu-jima Island reefs, southern Japan. Environmental 
Biology of Fishes 99, 761-769 (2016).


Nevill, J.E.G. (2020). Paracirrhites forsteri, Blackside hawkfish. Seychelles Seatizens. (updated 17/07/22).   

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