Blackspot Hogfish, Bodianus opercularis (Guichenot 1847)

Other Names: Candy Cane Wrasse, Candy Stripe Hogfish, Candystripe Hogfish, Peppermint Hogfish, Redstriped Hogfish, Red-striped Hogfish

A Blackspot Hogfish, Bodianus opercularis, in the Red Sea at Dahab, Sinai, Egypt. Source: Richard Field / FishBase. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

A small slender hogfish with three red stripes along the head and body with the lower two stripes converging on the caudal fin, a distinctive black spot on the gill cover, and a black blotch on the anterior part of the dorsal fin. The Blackspot Hogfish has white pelvic fins with, at most, a small reddish posterior blotch in large individuals, and the anal fin red near base and white distally.
Recorded from the Australian territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean.

Video of a Blackspot Hogfish in an aquarium.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Bodianus opercularis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,

Blackspot Hogfish, Bodianus opercularis (Guichenot 1847)

More Info


A Red Sea and Indian Ocean species, found from East Africa, Madagascar and Mascarenes eastwards to Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Inhabits steep outer reef slopes and along vertical drop-offs on deep rocky and coral reefs.


Dorsal fin XII, 9-10; Pectoral fin ii, 14-15; Lateral-line scales 40-46; Scales above lateral line 3–4½; Scales below lateral line ~13–14½; predorsal scales ~9–13; Total gill rakers 15-17.

Body slender, caudal peduncle of moderate depth; head and snout elongate. Scaly basal sheath on dorsal and anal fins at most 1½ scales in depth. Posterior corner of mouth at vertical midway between anterior extent of orbit and centre of eye. Upper jaw with first prominent anterior canine slightly smaller than second; dental ridge mostly smooth or with several to numerous very small teeth; single prominent canine at posterior end of jaw. Lower jaw with first prominent anterior canine ~½–2⁄3 length of second; dental ridge with 2 series of teeth, anterior series with 7–12 short canines arising close behind anterior canines, becoming progressively longer posteriorly, second series with 7–12 very short close set canines immediately following first series. Vomerine teeth absent. Pelvic fin distinctly not reaching anus.


Juveniles are collected for the aquarium trade.


The specific name opercularis is from the Latin operculum meaning “cover”, in reference to the prominent black spot on the gill cover.

Species Citation

Cossyphus opercularis Guichenot, 1847, Revue Zoologie, Paris 10: 283. Type locality: Madagascar.


Dianne J. Bray

Blackspot Hogfish, Bodianus opercularis (Guichenot 1847)


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

Gomon, M.F. 2006. A revision of the labrid fish genus Bodianus with descriptions of eight new species. Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 30: 1-133. PDF

Gomon, M.F. & Madden, W.D. 1981. Comments on the labrid fish subgenus Bodianus (Trochocopus) with a description of a new species from the Indian and Pacific oceans. Revue française d'Aquariologie Herpétologie 7(4): 121-126.

Guichenot, A. 1847. Description de deux nouvelles espèces de Cossyphes. Revue de Zoologie, Paris 10: 282-284.

Hobbs, J-P.A., S .J. Newman, G.E.A. Mitsopoulos, M.J. Travers, C.L. Skepper, J.J. Gilligan, G.R. Allen, H.J. Choat & A.M. Ayling. 2014. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202.

Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. A comprehensive guide to the coral reef fishes of Micronesia. Guam : Coral Graphics vi 330 pp. 192 pls.

Russell, B. & Myers, R. 2010. Bodianus opercularis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. Downloaded on 17 November 2014.

Westneat, M.W. 2001. Labridae. pp. 3381-3467 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384214


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:32-75 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:18 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map