Purl Diver Collection Hawkfish Cosette

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I took this picture of a dwarf hawkfish while in Fiji. The dwarf hawkfish is a small species of hawkfish commonly found on tropical reefs in the Indo-Pacific. No more than 3 inches in length, they are pinkish red to orange and white in color with vertical banding or mottling. A most notable feature is the dorsal fin, which has ten spines with numerous tassels on the tips of the spines.

Like many fish, this species can change sex. A dominant male keeps a harem of several females. If a harem becomes too large, one of the females may become a male and take on part of the harem as a dominant male. What makes this species unusual is that the new male may revert to the female sex if challenged by a more powerful male. A male can then become a female and successfully breed, laying fertile eggs.

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