Spanish Hogfish

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Species group:

Other common names: Hog Snapper

Scientific name: Bodianus rufus

The basics:
The Spanish Hogfish is found in shallow water rock and coral reefs in the western Atlantic Ocean - from Brazil north to Florida. The Spanish Hogfish is courageous and needs to swim constantly. The name Hogfish is applied to these fishes due to their appearance and gluttonous appetites. Juvenile Spanish Hogfish may act as cleaner fish, feeding on the parasites that inhabit other fish's gills and fins. They are not fussy eaters and make perfect residents for a fish-only aquarium. Hogfishes sometimes burrow into the sand when frightened. The male Spanish Hogfish defends its territories with harems of females. Males should not be kept together because they may quarrel.

The Spanish Hogfish is a large fish with large scales. The upper body is deep red to purple while the lower half and rear tail area is yellow. It is an elongate fish and the tips of its tail, pelvic fin, and central rays of dorsal and anal fins are extended as pointed lobes. The dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins are mostly purple or red-yellow at the rear. Juvenile Spanish Hogfish have a dark blue to purple-blue dorsal color. These fishes do not possess any special barbs or spines as defense; however, their meat is poisonous and thus they're rarely eaten by predators.

8-24 inches

They are generally passive by nature but they do make a meal of smaller creatures every now and then. They tend to be belligerent towards smaller, more docile fish that are easily bullied.

The Spanish Hogfish requires a 55-gallon tank for juveniles or a 150-gallon tank for adults. It is a large fish that requires a large aquarium with plenty of open swimming space. A sandy substrate can be used, with a few large rocks or pieces of coral as shelter areas.

70.00-80.00 °F




entertaining, interesting fish, interesting pattern, beautiful saltwater fish, bright yellow body


bite, aggressive reef fish, large aquariums, crustaceans, caution


snails, meaty diet, squid

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