Blackside Hawkfish (Paracirrhites Forsteri) belongs to the Xiphiidae family of Hawkfish. These fishes have different common names such as Forster's Hawkfish, Freckled Hawkfish, etc. These creatures have thick elongated body with large heads. They have skinless pectoral fins with round tail fins. These wonderful creatures are very curious in nature and their eyes will follow wherever you go. These fishes grow up to a size of about 9 inches and are found in the area of Indo-Pacific region. These species are the bottom dwelling fish and they lack swim bladders. Thus, these fishes live in rocks, sea fans and coral reefs where they can wait for the food to float near them. These fishes are famous as the aquarium fish. These species have special characteristics that they undergo color changes many times during their life time. When they are in juvenile stage they grow with a yellow tail but when it grows as an adult it may be of brown, pink or olive color. They also have red or black shades on their mouth, which remains on their face for the lifetime.
Blackside Hawkfish Facts
These species of fish are very interesting in their ecology and behavior. Some of the interesting facts about these species are as follows
Habitat and Distribution
These species are the bottom dwellers and are found around the reef in the both shallow and deep waters. They like to live in sandy-bottom areas where they could hide. These fishes are the inhabitants of the Indo-Pacific region, which extends from Hawaii to Central Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia and Indian Ocean, Coast of Africa and Red Sea.
The blackside hawkfish like to feed on crabs such as hermit Crabs, fiddler Crabs, dungeness crabs etc. or small fishes, squids and small shrimps. These creatures are small but their mouth opens quite wide. In captivity, they can be fed with finely chopped clam and shrimp. These are voracious fish eaters and are very aggressive in nature. They can become a threat to the other members in a tank. Therefore, if one keeps these fish then they need to be very careful.
Breeding / Reproduction
Some of these fishes like to live alone whereas some of them live in pairs. The spawning in these species occurs at night mostly near the surface of water. The eggs produced by the females swim along with the current of the water until they hatch. The eggs are estimated to hatch in about three weeks of time. These fish can go through sex change. The female can change into male if the male dies in the group. However, it is very difficult to identify the sex of these species.
Blackside Hawkfish in Captivity
They are needed to be kept in a big aquarium of at least 70m gallon. These fishes are very aggressive in nature and thus they should be kept with semi-aggressive or aggressive fish in the aquarium. They are known to harass other hawk fish and even the fishes, which are even larger than themselves. However they adapt themselves very well in the captivity. They can be kept with trigger fishes, large surgeon fishes and even large Engels.