Size16 inches (41 cm)
DietBrittle sea stars, crustaceans, mollusks and sea urchins.
HabitatRocky and coral reefs
- Spanish hogfish can reach a maximum size of 16 inches (41 cm) long and is covered with large scales.
- Dorsal, anal and pelvic fins are mostly blue or red-yellow near the trailing edge.
- 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.
The Spanish hogfish is a protogynous hermaphrodite. It begins life as a female and then changes into a male.
- Feeds on brittle sea stars, crustaceans, mollusks and sea urchins.
- Juveniles act as cleaner fish, feeding on parasites attached to the gills and fins of other fishes.
- Occurs in the tropical Western Atlantic from Bermuda, southern Florida, throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to southern Brazil.
- It inhabits rocky and coral reefs to depths of about 3 to 230 feet (1-70 m).
- This hogfish thrives in tropical climates.
- Oviparous- egg-laying species.
- The Spanish hogfish is a protogynous hermaphrodite, wherein it begins life as a female and then changes into a male.
- This change is completed in 7 to 10 days.
- “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.
- 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.