Cirrhitus pinnulatus maculosus Bennett 1828

Gaither, Michelle R. & Randall, John E., 2013, Reclassification of the Indo-Pacific Hawkfish Cirrhitus pinnulatus (Forster), Zootaxa 3599 (2), pp. 189-196 : 191-192

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.217609

publication LSID


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Cirrhitus pinnulatus maculosus Bennett 1828


Cirrhitus pinnulatus maculosus Bennett 1828

( Figs. 1 View FIGURE 1 , 2 View FIGURE 2 ; Table 1)

Cirrhitus maculosus Bennett 1828: 38 View in CoL (type locality, Hawaiian Islands).

Cirrhitus alternatus Gill 1862: 106 View in CoL , 107 (type locality, Hawaiian Islands).

Material examined. Hawaiian Islands: CAS 8972, 128 mm. O‘ahu, BPBM 439-440, 2: 130–166 mm; BPBM 1796, 110 mm; BPBM 4097, 203 mm; BPBM 10013, 27 mm; BPBM 41038, 172 mm; BPBM 41050, 162 mm; CAS 228981, 118 mm; CAS 228982, 3: 100–141 mm; CAS 228983, 118 mm. Nihoa, BPBM 4100, 158 mm. Pearl & Hermes Reef, BPBM 3447, 165 mm. Laysan, BPBM 4106, 133 mm; CAS 208505, 2: 126–134 mm. Johnston Atoll: BPBM 4101–4102, 3: 76–202 mm.

Diagnosis. Dorsal rays X,11; anal rays III,6; pectoral rays 14, the lower 7 unbranched and thickened; lateralline scales 38–41 (modally 40); gill rakers 6–8 + 12–14 (rarely 12), total 16–20; body robust, the depth 2.6–3.0 in standard length; snout short and blunt; 4 rows of large scales above lateral line in middle of body; 12 or more irregular rows of small scales on cheek; posterior margin of preopercle finely serrate; palatine teeth present; membranes of spinous portion of dorsal fin incised; a tuft of cirri from membrane near tip of each dorsal spine; pectoral fins short, not or just reaching a vertical at tips of pelvic rays (when fins placed posteriorly); caudal fin slightly rounded; body dark grey-brown to dark olive-brown, white ventrally, with three longitudinal rows of white blotches of about half eye size to nearly eye size and numerous orange-red spots of about half pupil size; head coloured like body dorsally, white ventrally, with a few dark spots posterior to eye and on opercle; most markings irregular yellow to orange, most horizontally linear and progressively larger posteriorly; upper lip with dark orange cross bands, the lower with fewer and darker bands; orange-red spots on spinous portion of dorsal fin extending out on membranes except for white tips; orange-red spots on second dorsal, anal, and caudal fins extending out on rays nearly to distal tips. Juveniles are more slender and the white markings on the body relatively larger than on adults ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 ). Largest specimen, 28 cm total length.

Remarks. Occurs on reefs and rocky shores exposed to surge, generally at depths of 1–3 m, but reported to 23 m ( Mundy, 2005). Found only at the Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Atoll.

Randall (1985) reported the diet from the stomach contents of 12 adult specimens as 80% crabs, the rest shrimps, fishes, other crustaceans, sea urchins, and brittle stars.

Although the Hawaiian population of Cirrhitus pinnulatus is the most distinct in meristic data and colouration, the genetic uniformity suggests that it best be regarded as a subspecies.


California Academy of Sciences


Bishop Museum














Cirrhitus pinnulatus maculosus Bennett 1828

Gaither, Michelle R. & Randall, John E. 2013

Cirrhitus alternatus

Gill 1862: 106

Cirrhitus maculosus

Bennett 1828: 38
GBIF Dataset (for parent article) Darwin Core Archive (for parent article) View in SIBiLS Plain XML RDF