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Long Nose Hawkfish | Maldives Marine Life
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Maldives Marine Life

The long nose hawkfish (Oxycirrhites Typus) is one of the most popular types of hawkfish.  It is found primarily in Indo-Pacific waters, among other places, and especially in shallow water close to black corals and rocks.

Long nose hawkfish are often solitary fish yet strongly territorial with one male presiding over a group of 2 to 7 females. Long nose hawkfish have curious eyes that follow everything that goes on around them while awaiting their prey.


Long Nosed Hawkfish

Long Nose Hawkfish Habitat

In the Maldives, the Long Nose Hawkfish is almost always found around sea fans and black corals.  Long nose hawkfish usually find areas of corals and rocks where they can passively wait for their food to float by.


Long nose hawkfish are known to have a very curious nature and their eyes will usually follow any movement that’s happening around them.  This species is highly adaptable and can also learn to live inside caves if necessary.


Longnosed Hawkfish in the Coral

Long Nose Hawkfish Appearance

The long nose hawkfish is recognised by their characterist red and white netted design.  They have a long nosed snout, shaped like a trumpet, for which they are named.  They use their long nose to pull food from tight places such as crevices within the coral reef.

The long nose hawkfish male tends to be smaller and more colorful than the female.  You can identify the male by black lines on the pelvic area and the caudal fins.  They are also protogynous synchronous hermaphrodites which means they start their lives as females and then later on turn into males if necessary.

Long Nose Hawkfish Diet

The long nose hawkfish is a carnivorous specimen that feeds on bottom-dwelling invertebrates and zooplankton.  This fish spends most of its time perched on a rock, sea fan or a piece of coral waiting to attack their prey.  Their teeth are shaped and modified especially for grasping free-swimming crustaceans, which are their principal source for food.

Long Nose Hawkfish Behavior towards Scuba Divers

The long nose hawkfish is one of the least aggressive hawkfish, and therefore poses no threat to scuba divers.  They are very curious fish and you can see them observing scuba divers intensely from a distance.

Long Nose Hawkfish Reproduction

The long nose hawkfish is known to lay eggs and are the only hawkfish that has been reported to spawn in captivity. They tend to engage in monogamous relations and have been known to perform a courtship dance in order to attract a mate.

The male sets up a territory which includes 2 to 7 females and each night around twilight he visits each female around the coral block looking for the right one to court.  When the male finds a suitable female they swim upwards and release the eggs and the sperm together.

Threats to Long Nose Hawkfish

The biggest threat to the long nose hawkfish is its commercial use for aquariums and fish tanks.  However, they are not an endangered species and their populations are quite normal and healthy.