Arc-eye Hawkfish
Arc-eye Hawkfish

Arc-eye Hawkfish

Parachirrhites arcatus

Arc-eye Hawkfish

Parachirrhites arcatus is known under several different common names in English, including Arc-eye hawkfish, Arc eyed hawkfish, Ring-eye hawkfish, Ring-eyed hawkfish, Ringeyed hawkfish, and Whiteline hawkfish.

Parachirrhites arcatus is has not been evaluated for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Geographical distribution, habitat and habits

The Arc-eye Hawkfish lives in the Indo-Pacific. It can be found from Africa to the Hawaiian, Line and Mangaréva islands, and its range proceeds northwards up to southern Japan and southwards down to Australia and Rapa.

The depth range for this species is 1-91 meters / 3.3-300 feet.

The typical Art-eye Hawkfish habitat is a lagoon or seaward reef.

The fish likes to stay perched on small branching corals, such as Acropora, Pocillopora and Stylophora. When a suitable prey ventures close enough, the Arc-eye Hawkfish will make a quick dash and seize it.

This fish is highly territorial and will live in harems consisting of one male and several females and juveniles.

Size and apperance

The largest scientifically measured Arc-eye Hawkfish was 20 cm / 7.9 in.

This species come in a wide range of colour variants, but all specimens have a distinctive arc behind the eye. If you look closer, you can see that the arc consists of three thin lines.

One of the most commonly occurring colour variants is light brown with a white stripe on the posterior flanks. If you want a darker fish, you can for instance go for a variant that is dark brown to blackish without any striping. Another fairly popular type is deep red without any striping, and there is also an orange variant adorned with a white horizontal bar on its back half.

Arc-eye Hawkfish care

The Arc-eye Hawkfish is a territorial harem-living fish and this must be taken into account when you plan your aquarium. If you want to keep it with other fish, the hawkfish should be the last one to enter the aquarium. It is not advisable to house an Arc-eye Hawkfish in an aquarium smaller than 30 gallons / 115 litres. Keeping several males together will require a huge and cleverly decorated aquarium so that they can claim one territory each.

Do not combine the Arc-eye Hawkfish with fish small enough to be considered food. Even fish larger than the Arc-eye Hawkfish can end up as food or get killed in territorial disputes.
The Arc-eye Hawkfish is considered reef compatible with caution. It will eat many types of invertebrates, including suitably sized crabs and shrimps. It doesn’t eat sessile invertebrates but it can still injure them.

Keep the water temperature around 25-27° C  / 77-80° F. Keep the specific gravity at 1.020-1.025 and the pH-value between 8.1 and 8.4.

Feeding Arc-eye Hawkfish

The Arc-eye hawkfish is a predatory fish that needs a carnivore diet in the aquarium. You can for instance feed it crabs, various shrimps, and small fish. In the wild, the Arc-eye Hawkfish feeds chiefly on bottom-dwelling invertebrates and zooplankton.

It is a happy eater and most specimens can develop an interest in dead food, even pellets and flakes, over time.

Breeding Arc-eye Hawkfish

The males are usually smaller than the females. Spawning takes place at dusk and the male will court one or several females from his own harem. When a pair has been formed, the two fishes will rise off the substrate, the female will release her eggs and the male will fertilize them. The eggs are buoyant and will be swept away by currents and become a part of the drifting plankton in the ocean.  

Hawkfish Articles:

Flame Hawkfish – Neocirrhites armatus
Longnose Hawkfish – Oxycirrhites typus


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