This hawkfish reaches to a maximum total length of about 22 cm (9 in). The dorsal fin has ten spines and eleven soft rays, while the anal fin has three spines and six soft rays. There is considerable variation in the colouring both among adults and as a result of changes during growth. The main colour is usually yellowish but there is a broad black or dark brown lateral band, mainly on the rear half of the body. The sides of the head and the front of the body are whitish or grey, with red speckles. In Asia, juveniles may be reddish dorsally, while in Oceania they tend to have golden-green upper parts and white underparts.
Blackside Hawkfish's facts
Blackside Hawkfish is a sequential hermaphrodite; adults start life as females but the largest female in a group changes sex to a male if that position is vacated.
Blackside Hawkfish's Behavior & Ecology
The black-sided hawkfish is an ambush predator, it usually lies in wait on a head of coral, propped up by its stiff pectoral fins, ready to dart out at passing crustaceans or small fish. It is mainly a solitary fish, but may be seen in pairs or may form small harems with one dominant male and several females.
Blackside Hawkfish's Conservation
There are no known conservation measures in place for Paracirrhites forsteri.
Blackside Hawkfish habitat
Paracirrhites forsteri is a solitary species that is occasionally found in pairs. It inhabits soft-bottom coastal lagoons and seaward reefs at a depth between 1 m and 35 m (Allen and Erdmann 2012, Kuiter and Tonozuka 2001). This species has a maximum total length of approximately 22.5 cm (Allen and Erdmann 2012).
Blackside Hawkfish threats
Although Paracirrhites forsteri is fished and collected for the aquarium trade, there are no known major threats at this time.