Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Bodianus rufus, Spanish Hogfish, Spanish Hogfish Wrasse

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

yellow + upper head, back & D blue-grey
juv: front 1/2 blue, rear 1/2 yellow

Bodianus rufus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Spanish Hogfish, Spanish 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 17-19; 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: head and front half of body and front half of dorsal fin blue to dark blue-grey; rest of body and fins yellow; a black blotch at front of dorsal fin. Adult: upper ½ of rear of head, upper 1/3 of body and front ¾ of dorsal fin blue-grey to purple to deep red; rest of head, body, tail base and tail fin yellow.

Reaches 50 cm.

Coral reefs.

Depth range: 1-130 m.

N Carolina to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Ectoparasite cleaner
  • Data
  • Ectoparasites
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
  • Sessile worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • 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
  • 50
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 130