IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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  Common names: hawkfish (English), halcón (Espanol), chino (Espanol)
Cirrhitus rivulatus Valenciennes, 1846

Giant hawkfish,     Hieroglyphic hawkfish

Body deep, not very compressed; head deep, blunt; a fringe of cirri on rear edge of front nostril; bone under front of eye with partly free rear margin; mouth moderately large;  a row of small canines on jaws with a band of simple teeth inside those; teeth on center and sides of roof of mouth;  upper margin of preopercle finely serrated;  operculum with 2 flat spines;  dorsal fin X, 11-12, continuous, slightly notched between spines and rays,  membranes between spines slightly indented, each spine with a large bunch of cirri at the tip; anal fin III, 6; tail fin bluntly straight edged; lower 7 rays of the pectoral stout, with membranes deeply notched, distinctly longer than other rays, top 1 & lower 7 pectoral rays unbranched; pelvic I, 5, its origin behind pectoral base; scales smooth, none between eyes, ~ 12 irregular rows of small scales on cheek; 45-49 on lateral line.

Greyish brown with 5 "bars", each composed of a "maze" of golden-brown markings with black margins narrowly surrounded by blue; head with broad golden-brown spoke-like bands radiating from eye, these also with black margin narrowly outlined with blue; a pair of white spots on upper back posteriorly; juveniles  white with dark brown bars.

Size: attains 60 cm; it is the largest member of the family.

Habitat: juveniles found in shallow surge zone, adults on rocky reefs.

Depth: 1-30 m.

Southern Baja and the northern Gulf of California to Ecuador and all the offshore Islands.


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© Shorefishes of the tropical eastern Pacific online information system. www.stri.org/sftep

Source: Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Online Information System

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