Paracirrhites forsteri   (Bloch & Schneider,  1801) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: S. Kato

Size: 22.5 cm.

Color: Body is yellowish with broad blackish stripe on upper side, head and anterior part of body with small dark reddish spots. Color changes with growth as well as varies among adults.

Height 2.9-3, 3.5 in length with caudal. Head 2.8-3, 3.4-3.5 in length with caudal. Height of head 1.2 in its length. Eye 4.2-5.1, 1.3-1.5 in snout and somewhat more than nearly flat inter orbital space. mouth rather large, oblique. Maxillary reaching to below anterior half of eye. A band of villi form teeth, broader near symphysis, in the upper jaw, with an outer row of longer, pointed teeth. Anteriorly two strong canines. In the lower the band of villi form teeth is narrow, and developed anteriorly only. The outer row consists of unequal pointed teeth, some of them in the sides of the jaws are canines. Head of vomer with an arched patch of small teeth. No teeth on palatines. Anterior nostril with a fringed flap. Five transverse rows of sales on cheeks, these scales mixed with smaller ones (squamulae). Similar small scales on preopercular limb, on opercular flap and in small patches on posterior part of preorbital and of chin, on snout and of chin, on snout and on inter-orbital space. Posterior border of preopercle crenulated. About 12 rows of scales before dorsal. First dorsal spine equal to eye. Third, fourth, and fifth spines longest, equal to snout. Last dorsal spine somewhat longer than ninth. Membranes between the spines somewhat incised. first soft dorsal ray equal to snout and eye, following rays gradually decreasing in length to the last. First anal spine more than half length of second spine, which is longer and stronger than the third and equal to snout and half diameter of eye together. First anal ray equal to snout and eye, following rays slightly decreasing in length. Pectorals with six or seven lower simple rays, the longest reaching to above middle of depressed ventral fin. Ventrals equal to snout and eye. Caudal slightly rounded. Dorsal spines (total): 10-10, Dorsal soft rays (total): 11-11, Anal spines: 3, Anal soft rays: 6.

Dioecious, external fertilization, nonguarders, open water/substratum egg scatterers. Distinct pairing. Spawning ascents into the water column occurred over a distance of 1.0 to 2.5 m.

Tends to perch on outermost branches of Stylophora, Pocillopora, and Acropora corals. It is territorial and haremic.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Grammistes forsteri Schneider, 1801
Paracirrhites typee Randall, 1963
Grammistes forsteri Schneider, 1801
(Senior synonym)
Paracirrhites forsteri (Schneider, 1801)
(Senior synonym)
Paracirrhites typee Randall, 1963
(Junior synonym)
Sparus pantherinus Lacepede, 1802
Cirrhites pantherinus Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1829
Cirrhites pantherinus Lesson, 1830
Gerranus tankervillae Bennett, 1830
Cirrhites pantherinus Bleeker, 1851
Cirrhites forsteri Gunther, 1860
Amblycirrhitus pantherinus Bleeker, 1866
Cirrhites forsteri Klunzinger, 1884
Cirrhites forsteri Gunther, 1875
Cirrhites forsteri Day, 1875
Paracirrhites forsteri Bleeker, 1877
Cirrhites forsteri Steindachner and Denkschr, 1900
Paracirrhites forsteri Jenkins, 1904
Paracirrhites forsteri Jordan and Evermann, 1905
Paracirrhites forsteri Barnard, 1927
Paracirrhites forsteri Fowler, 1931
Grammistes forsteri Bloch and Schneider, 1801
Cirrhites forsteri Day, 1878
Paracirrhites forsteri de Beaufort, 1940

Common Name (s)
• Freckled Hawkfish (English)
• Forsters Hawkfish (English)
• Forsters Hawk (English)
• Blackside Hawkfish (English)
• Forsters Curly Fin (English)
• Boh (Mahl)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, aquarium. Marketed mostly fresh.)

Habitat:  Benthic, Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Small fishes, benthic crustaceans


• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands (Lat: 10) (Long: 93) INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti Atoll (Lat: 10.55) (Long: 72.63) INDIA (Record: 01/1991-06/1992)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andamans INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Bitra INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kadamatt INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kalpeni INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Red Sea
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti Atoll INDIA (Record: 01/1991-06/1992)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna Available at -
  • Rao, DV; Devi, K and Rajan, PT (2000) An account of ichthyofauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 178 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 1-434 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Ocean Biogeographic Information System Available at -
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • Letourneur, Y; Chabanet, P; Durville, P; Taquet, M; Teissier, E; Parmentier, M; Quero, JC and Pothin, K (2004) An updated checklist of the marine fish fauna of Reunion Island, south-western Indian Ocean Cybium 28(3) 199-216
  • Kemp, JM (1998) Zoogeography of the coral reef fishes of the Socotra Archipelago Journal of Biogeography 25 919-933
  • Durville, P; Chabanet, P and Quod, JP (2003) Visual Census of the Reef Fishes in the Natural Reserve of the Glorieuses Islands (Western Indian Ocean) Western Indian Ocean J. Mar. Sci. WIOMSA 2 95-104
  • Chabanet, P and Patrick, D (2005) Reef Fish Inventory of Juan De Novas Natural Park (Western Indian Ocean) Western Indian Ocean Journal Marine Sciences 2005 WIOMSA 4 145-162
  • Mark, SD and Jarvis, GE (2002) The impact of the 1998 coral mortality on reef fish communities in the Seychelles Marine Pollution Bulletin 44 309-321 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Anand, PEV and Pillai, NGK (2003) Habitat distribution and species diversity of coral reef fishes in the reefslope of the Kavaratti atoll, Lakshadweep, India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 45(1) 88-98 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Beaufort, LF (1940) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago A. J. Reprints agency, Karol Bagh, New Delhi 8 508 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing area 51). FAO, Rome 1 Available at -
  • Jones, S. (1969) Catalogue of fishes from the Laccadive Archipelago in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 8 1-35 Available at -
  • Anand, PEV and Pillai, NGK (2004) Community organization of reef fishes in the live coral sub-habitat of Kavaratti atoll, Lakshadweep, India Indian Journal of Fisheries Indian Journal of Fisheries for the Indian Council of Agricultural Research 51(1) 87-95 Available at -
  • Talwar, PK (1990) Fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A synoptic survey Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 6(2) 71-102 Available at - NIO,Goa

Page last updated on:2011-08-08

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