This fish inhabits rocky and coral reefs in the tropical Western Atlantic from Bermuda, southern Florida, throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to southern Brazil. Coloration can vary based on water depth. Hogfish that live in shallow water have a blue upper body and head. Individuals that live in deep water have a red upper body and head.
  • Size

    16 inches (40 cm)
  • Diet

    Brittle sea stars, crustaceans, mollusks and sea urchins.
  • Range

    Western Atlantic from Bermuda to southern Brazil
  • Habitat

    Rocky and coral reefs

Physical Characteristics

Size

  • Spanish hogfish can reach a maximum size of 16 inches (40 cm) long and is covered with large scales.

Body Composition

  • Dorsal, anal and pelvic fins are mostly blue or red-yellow near the trailing edge.

Color

  • Individuals in shallow water have a blue upper body and head with a yellow lower body and tail. A red color replaces the blue body coloration in those individuals inhabiting deep water.

 

Animal Fact

The Spanish hogfish is a protogynous hermaphrodite. It begins life as a female and then changes into a male

Diet / Feeding

Diet

  • Feeds on brittle sea stars, crustaceans, mollusks and sea urchins.

Feeding

  • Juveniles act as cleaner fish, feeding on parasites attached to the gills and fins of other fishes.

Range / Habitat

Range

  • Spanish hogfish occurs in the tropical Western Atlantic from Bermuda, southern Florida, throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to southern Brazil.

Habitat

  • It inhabits rocky and coral reefs to depths of about 3 to 230 feet (1-70 m).
  • This hogfish thrives in tropical climates.

Reproduction & Growth

Reproduction

  • Spanish hogfish is a protogynous hermaphrodite, wherein it begins life as a female and then changes into a male

Growth

  • This change is completed in 7 to 10 days.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • This species may hybridize with the spotfin hogfish.
  • Forms permanent harem groups composed of a single male and several smaller females.
  • Instances of ciguatera poisoning have been reported in people who have eaten the Spanish hogfish. The ciguatoxin accumulates in the flesh of the fish as a result of consuming some forms of algae or preying on fish that eat that algae.

Sources

Buy Tickets