20 photos - 8 species


There are about 35 species in 10 genera.

Tufted bass are also called coral guardians.

The name coral guards comes from the fact that the animals are often seen lying on corals.

The name tufted bass is explained by the fact that some species have tuft-like projections on the spines of the dorsal fin.

Most grow no larger than 10 cm, although some species can grow to over 20 cm long.

Amblycirrhitus pinos

Redspotted hawkfish

Maximum length: 10 cm

Depth: 4 - 25 m

The head, upper body and dorsal fin have red spots.

There are small tufts at the tips of its dorsal fin rays.

Otherwise white body with brown bands and white fins.

Very shy, always darts to another seat when approached.

Only tufted bass representative in the Atlantic.

Photo 1 Astrid: Bonaire Caribbean

Photos 2 - 3 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean

Cirrhitichthys aprinus

Spotted hawkfish, Blotched hawkfish, Redbarred hawkfish,

Boar hawkfish or Threadfin hawkfish

Maximum length: 12 cm

Depth: 5 - 40 m

Aggressive towards other fish that invade its territory.

Often "stands" with its pectoral fins on higher corals.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bangka Island North Sulawesi

Cirrhitichthys falco

Dwarf hawkfish

Maximum length: 7 cm

Depth: 3 - 46 m

In reefs with rich and medium coral growth, often on outer reefs,

but also in sheltered bays.

Perches on a wide variety of vegetation on hard floors,

at the base of small coral or rock formations,

and also on small patches of sand in front of them.

Photo 1 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North Sulawesi

Photo 2 Johnny: Moalboal Philippines

Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus

Coral hawkfish, Pixy hawkfish or Sharp-headed hawkfish

Maximum length: 9 cm

Depth: 1 - 40 m

White body with reddish-brown spots.

Perches on various corals and coral rocks.

Little shy.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Cirrhitus pinnulatus

Stocky hawkfish, Whitespotted hawkfisch or Marbled hawkfish

Maximum length: 30 cm

Depth: 0.3 - 6 m

Dark spots and bright white spots.

Inhabits shallow, algae-covered rocky reefs, outer reef roofs and reef edges with surf and current.

Very shy.

Photo 1 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Photo 2 Johnny: El Quesir Egypt

Oxycirrhites typus

Longnose hawkfish

Maximum length: 13 cm

Depth: 20 - 70 m

Long snout and distinctive tartan pattern.

They are usually only found from a depth of 20 m in black corals and fan gorgonians.

Photo 1 Astrid: Hurghada Egypt

Photos 2 - 3 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Paracirrhites arcatus

Arc-eye hawkfish, Ringeye hawkfish, Horsehoe hawkfish or

Whiteline hawkfish

Maximum length: 10 cm

Depth: 1 - 35 m

It has an arcuate, blue-red-orange line behind the eye

and usually a wide white longitudinal stripe on the back of the body.

Little shy, likes to pose for longer while taking photos.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bangka Island North Sulawesi

Photo 2 Johnny: Embudu Maldives

Paracirrhites forsteri

Black-side hawkfish, Freckled hawkfish or Forster's Hawkfish

While eating
While eating
Adulte - Color variant
Adulte - Color variant

Maximum length: 22 cm

Depth: 5 - 40 m

Color variable, black or red spots on the head.

Most common coral guardian in the Red Sea.

Photo 1 Johnny: El Quesir Egypt

Photos 2 - 3 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Photos 4 - 5 Astrid: Hurghada Egypt