Giant hawkfish

The giant hawkfish, Cirrhitus rivulatus is a species of hawkfish. It is a marine fish and the largest of the hawkfish family with maximum size of 60 cm (24 in) in total length. It is known for its social behavior towards scuba divers and its uncanny ability to perch on its pectoral fins. This particular species can be found mainly along the Gulf of California, reaching as far as northern Colombia and the Galapagos Islands. It is a predator, mostly feeding on other small fish and crustaceans.[2]

Giant hawkfish
Giant hawkfish.jpg
Cirrhitus rivulatus in the Galapagos Islands
Scientific classification
C. rivulatus
Binomial name
Cirrhitus rivulatus


The giant hawkfish has a unique body design, mostly deep and compressed, with a mainly olive skin tone sporting golden stripes or bars. It is a favorite fish to observe amongst scuba diving enthusiasts diving along the Pacific coasts of Mexico. Usually remaining motionless, it inhabits large boulders and rocky outcroppings at offshore islands, including Isla San Pedro Nolasco near San Carlos, and Isla Tiburón near Bahía Kino.[3] Mainly occupying shallow waters not unfamiliar to high wave activity, like other hawkfishes, it has a reputation for being able to perch on one of its pectoral fins, and sometimes both. It has displayed the ability to stand up completely on its tail fin in aquaria. In the ocean, its pectoral fins serve a more a valuable purpose other than for swimming, being strong enough to lock it between rocks subject to wave surge.[4] It is not uncommon to anglers around their native region and is known to be a game fish.[5]

International namesEdit


  1. ^ Allen, G., Robertson, R., Lea, B., Rivera, F., Zapata, F., Barraza, E., Merlen, G. & Edgar, G. 2010. Cirrhitus rivulatus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. < Archived June 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine>. Downloaded on 14 June 2013.
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Cirrhitus rivulatus" in FishBase. April 2013 version.
  3. ^ Family Cirrhitidae: Hawkfish retrieved on July 2008
  4. ^ Cirrhitus rivulatus (Giant Hawkfish)
  5. ^ "Giant hawkfish". Archived from the original on 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2008-07-16.

External linksEdit