Longnose Hawkfish

Family: Cirrhitidae Picture of a Longnose HawkfishOxycirrhites typus
Latest Reader Comment - See More
Very dominating of smaller fish in the tank and will attack invertebrates, it took a good chunk out of my starfish. It is a shame though as it is a beautiful fish... (more)  Liz

   The Longnose Hawkfish is one of the most popular of the hawkfish. They are a very interesting fish to watch and have very intricate and colorful markings. They have tufts (typical of hawkfish) on the dorsal fin rays and the nostrils.

   They are very hardy and disease resistant. Longnose Hawkfish are well suited to both marine aquariums and reefs. They will not bother corals in a reef, but will eat smaller ornamental shrimp and smaller hermit crabs.

For more Information on keeping this fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium

Geographic Distribution
Oxycirrhites typus
Data provided by FishBase.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Family: Cirrhitidae
  • Genus: Oxycirrhites
  • Species: typus
Longnose Hawkfish (Oxycirrhites typus)
Report Broken Video
Two Longnose Hawkfish in dealer's tank.

The Longnose Hawkfish grows up to 5" (13 cm), yet in captivity, it commonly only grows to 4" (10 cm). Males are slightly larger than females and you can put a pair in a 45 gallon tank, unless the female decides to turn into a male, at which point, all out war breaks out! They have been known to breed in captivity and they are the most peaceful of the hawkfish clan, however, on occasion is has been known to attack shrimp and eat neon gobies. A well fed Hawkfish would rarely do this, and one raised in captivity on non-live foods would rarely exhibit this behavior, though this is the animal kingdom, so there is no guarantee! Keep salinity at 1.023 minimum and 72˚F to 81˚F with a few high places for them to perch and a lid, since they do like to jump. Avoid other hawkfish or aggressive fish as tank mates.

Long Nose Hawkfish 2 (Oxycirrhites typus)
Report Broken Video
Longnose Hawkfish in aquarist's tank.

This video shows the Longnose Hawkfish opening it's mouth part way, which gives us a glimpse into why they may be able to eat small nano tank sized fish like neon gobies and clown gobies. These hawkfish are less likely to perform this heinous crime, but a hungry "aquatic raptor" may feel differently, so keep them well fed. Salmon flesh, raw and minced will help them keep their color. The two tank mates seen here are appropriate.

Popular Searches

Maintenance difficulty:    The Longnose Hawkfish is easy to keep. Hawkfish are among the hardiest of all marine fish.

Maintenance:    The hawkfish are carnivores. They do well on a diet which includes all kinds of live, frozen, and flake foods. Best to feed small amounts several times a day. Brine shrimp, live or frozen is a basic staple of

Habitat: Natural geographic location:     Longnose Hawkfish are found in the Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and South Africa to the Hawaiian Islands, north to southern Japan, south to New Caledonia. Eastern Pacific: Gulf of California to northern Colombia and the Galapagos Islands . They swim at depths of 10 to 20 meters (33 - 60 ft). They inhabit steep outer reef slopes exposed to strong currents where they live in large gorgonians and black corals. Feeds on small benthic or planktonic crustaceans. Uncommon to rare in most areas,

Foods:    All kinds of meaty foods from small fish and invertebrates; crustaceans. The hawkfish are carnivores and do well on a diet which includes all kinds of live, frozen, and flake foods. We generally feed freeze dried krill, squid, shrimp (the same kind people eat), mussels, and all kinds of chopped up fish.

Social Behaviors:    Found singly on the reef with one male presiding over a territory that will include 2 to 7 females. In the ocean they are often seen perching on black corals or gorgonians. Pelagic spawning has been observed for this species from field observations. They are strongly territorial.

Sex: Sexual differences:    The male is usually larger. It is thought that the male has an extra black edge on the ventral and tail fins.

Breeding/Reproduction:    This is the only Hawkfish that has been reported to spawn in captivity. The female (in contrast to other Hawkfish) lays adhesive eggs. See general breeding behavior for Hawkfish in the Breeding Marine Fish page.

Light: Recommended light levels:    No special requirements.

Longnose Hawkfish
Longnose Hawkfish

Temperature:     Hawkfish should be kept at temperatures between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Length/Diameter of fish:    Longnose Hawkfish adults can grow to 10.0 cm (4 inches).

Minimum Tank Length/Size:    A minimum 25 gallon aquarium is recommended.

Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong    No special requirements.

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom    Usually spends most of its' time on coral outcroppings near the bottom.

Availability:    This fish is readily available and is inexpensive.

Author: David Brough. CFS.
Lastest Animal Stories on Longnose Hawkfish

Liz - 2006-06-18
Very dominating of smaller fish in the tank and will attack invertebrates, it took a good chunk out of my starfish. It is a shame though as it is a beautiful fish to watch.

coree - 2012-01-14
Why don't you guys have a section for seahorses and pipefish? Some people might want one of those kind of fish.

  • Anonymous - 2012-01-15
    That is a great idea and I totally agree. Stay tuned as these fish are in the works and coming soon!
Adam - 2005-11-23
Only had mine a few weeks but has settled in amazingly well and feeds from your hand. Extremely friendly and amusing when perching on turbo snails at the front of the tank eyeing up potential prey.

paul - 2007-02-02
this fish looks really cool, "caution" was eating live shrimp when I bought him and would not except frozen brine thereafter. also my pseudochromis chased him considerably upon his arrival and I feared that he would soon jump out of my tank but all is well now.