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What are the Different Types of Hogfish?

Hogfish, with their distinct tapered snouts, are a diver's delight and a chef's treasure. They come in various species, such as the prominent West Indian and Spanish Hogfish, each boasting unique patterns and habitats. Their adaptability to environments and diets makes them fascinating subjects of marine biology. What secrets do their vibrant scales and behaviors hold? Explore the depths of hogfish diversity with us.
Marisa O'Connor
Marisa O'Connor

There are many different types of hogfish in the wild and available for a home or commercial aquarium. They tend to congregate in reefs, and many of the hogfish eat parasites from other fish when they are juveniles. Some common types of hogfish include the candy, masuda, and coral hogfish.

The candy hogfish is one of the most peaceful of this species of fish. This type is also commonly known as the twospot hogfish, because it has the species' signature spot on its tale, as well as an additional spot behind its eye. Though this fish is usually peaceful, it can become territorial and fight with fish of the same species. It is a carnivorous fish belonging to the Labridae family and can be found in the oceans of Papua New Guinea and Japan. This fish is ideal for a home aquarium, holding at least 30 gallons of salt water, and grows a maximum of 4 inches (10.6 cm).

Fox-faced rabbitfish are good tank mates for hogfish.
Fox-faced rabbitfish are good tank mates for hogfish.

The masuda hogfish is another small, peaceful type of hogfish. This is a vibrant, colorful fish nicknamed the peppermint hogfish for its red and white horizontal stripes. This fish is great for aquariums of 20 gallons or more with plenty of hiding spaces for the fish to retreat, but can be a bit tedious to care for, as it requires multiple feedings per day. It will eat shrimp, black worms, and other small sea creatures, so it should be kept in a fish-only tank.

One of the largest species of hogfish is the spotfin, or bodianus pulchellus, growing up to 11.22 inches (28.5 cm). This fish likes to swim around tropical reefs and can be found near South Carolina, Bermuda, and Brazil. It is a very colorful species, with a red body and white stripe running along the lower side of the body. This is a great beginner fish for an aquarium holding at least 75 gallons of salt water. The spotfin feeds on crabs and small shellfish, and juveniles of this species clean parasites from other fish.

The coral hogfish is another one of the larger fish of this species, growing up to 7 inches (17.8 cm). This is a beautiful and colorful reef fish with a burgundy head and a rosy-yellow body separated by a black stripe. This is another good fish for at least a 75-gallon reef tank, though as the fish grows, it will begin to eat any small fish, snails, and other smaller creatures in the tank. It is not recommended to keep more than one coral hogfish in an aquarium, as they will become aggressive with others.

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    • Fox-faced rabbitfish are good tank mates for hogfish.
      Fox-faced rabbitfish are good tank mates for hogfish.