Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Bodianus pulchellus, Spotfin Hogfish, Spotfin Hogfish Wrasse

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

red; end D, upper tail base & most C yellow
front D black blotch
juv yellow + black blotch front D

Bodianus pulchellus (Poey, 1860)

Spotfin Hogfish, Spotfin Hogfish Wrasse

Body robust, compressed; snout pointed; mouth protrusible, opens at front, thick lips; rear of top jawbone not visible on cheek; toothed grinding plates in throat; a canine tooth at rear of top jaw, strong canines at front of both jaws; gill rakers 15-16; gill membranes fused under throat; dorsal fin XII, 9-11, not obviously notched between spiny and soft parts; anal fin III, 12; lateral line unbroken, smoothly arched; scales large, 29-31 with pores on lateral line.

Juvenile: bright yellow, a large black blotch covering first 4 spines of the dorsal fin. Adult: head, body, pelivics, anal, front ¾ of dorsal fin, lower part of tail base and lower edge of tail fin deep red, with an indistinct white stripe from mouth to mid-body; pectoral fin red, with dark upper tip; tail base, rear of dorsal fin and tail fin bright yellow; a black blotch at front of dorsal fin.

Reaches 29 cm.

Coral reefs.

Depth range: 10-120 m, usually below 20 m.

S Carolina to Brazil, and the E Atlantic.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Ectoparasite cleaner
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Ectoparasites
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 29
Depth Range Min
  • 10
Depth Range Max
  • 120