Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Lachnolaimus maximus, Hogfish, Hogfish Wrasse

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

oblong, deep, forehead straight, long snout
TP white; forehead & nape dark; D - base & edge black, C base - black
IP mottled brown, blotch end D base

Lachnolaimus maximus (Walbaum, 1792)

Hogfish, Hogfish Wrasse

Body deep, oblong, compressed; upper head profile straight to slightly concave; snout long and pointed; mouth highly protrusible, with a longitudinal fold from top lip covering rear of jaws, rear of top jawbone not visible on cheek; strong forward directed canines at front of mouth, rear teeth short, stout, in one row; toothed grinding plates in throat; gill membranes fused under throat; dorsal fin with XIV spines, first 3 spines very long and filamentous, membranes between spines deeply indented, not obviously notched between spiny and soft parts; anal fin III, 10; tail fin straight in juveniles, concave in adults, lobes with filamentous tips in large males; lateral line complete, 32-34 pored scales.

Initial phase and Juveniles variable: mottled with grey, red-brown and tan, forehead and nape darker; a prominent black blotch on lower rear corner of dorsal fin and adjacent tail base; iris red. Terminal phase: Body whitish; black on forehead and nape, most of pelvics, base and outer margin of dorsal fin, lower edge of anal fin, and upper and lower edges and base of tail fin; iris red.

Reaches 91 cm; all tackle world record 9.63 kg.

Found around the sandy margins of reefs, in gorgonian tree forests and seagrass beds.

Depth range: 0-91 m.

North Carolina to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Estuary
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
  • Sessile crustacea
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • 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
  • Listed
  • Vulnerable
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 91
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 91