Blackside hawkfish
  • Paracirrhites forsteri
  • EnglishName: Blackside hawkfish
  • Local Name : Thijjehi gaaboa
  • Size : Common to 14 cm; max. 22.5 cm
  • Family: CIRRHITIDAE
  • Order : Perciformes
  • Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 10 spines and 11 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 6 rays. Pectoral fin rays 14 (uppermost and lower 7 rays unbranched). Body depth 2.6-2.9 in standard length. Palatine teeth absent. Interorbital space and almost all of snout scaly. A single cirrus from membrane near tip of each dorsal spine. 5 or 6 rows of scales on cheek.
  • Colour: Body yellowish with a broad blackish stripe on upper side (faint in some individuals, broken into large spots in others; often restricted to rear half of body). Head and front of body with numerous small dark reddish spots. Occasional individuals dark brown with orange-red spots anteriorly.
  • Habitat and Biology: Generally found on reef edge, often seen resting on live coral. Feeds heavily on small fishes, occasionally on crustaceans.
  • Distribution: Indo-Pacific.
  • Remarks: Paracirrhitus forsteri is a common hawkfish in the Maldivian reefs. It is often seen “sitting” on the outer most branches of Pocillopora or Acropora coral heads.