Common name: Hawkfishes


Hawkfishes inhabit coral or rocky reefs, at depths to about 50 m. All prey on small fishes and crustaceans except Cyprinocirrhites polyactis, which feeds on zooplankton. Cirrhitids are usually seen perching on coral heads or rocky outcrops. Distinctive features include thickened lower pectoral-fin rays and tassel-like cirri at the tip of each dorsal-fin spine.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Hawkfishes, CIRRHITIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Apr 2024,


Randall, J.E. 2001. Revision of the generic classification of the hawkfishes (Cirrhitidae), with descriptions of three new genera. Zootaxa 12: 1-12.

Coker DJ, Hoey AS, Wilson SK, Depczynski M, Graham NAJ, Hobbs J-PA, Holmes TA, Pratchett MS. (2015). Habitat selectivity and reliance on live corals for Indo-Pacific hawkfishes (family Cirrhitidae). PLoS One 10: 1–17. PDF Open access

Donaldson TJ (1990) Reproductive behavior and social organization of some Pacific hawkfishes (Cirrhitidae). Jap J Ichthyol 36: 439–458.