Neocirrhites armatus

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See Talk:Neocirrhites armatus for individual experiences with this species, Neocirrhites armatus. Feel free to add your own personal experiences.

Common Name
Flame Hawkfish
Binomial Name
Neocirrhites armatus
Neocirrhites armatus.jpg
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Cirrhitidae
Genus: Neocirrhites
Species: armatus

Common Names

  • Flame Hawkfish
  • Brilliant Red Hawkfish
  • Scarlet Hawkfish
  • Fire Hawkfish



Neocirrhites armatus enjoy a large head in proportion to their body - typical of many in the Cirrhitidae family, along with their lack of a swim bladder. They have a bright red body with black markings along the dorsal fin and around the eyes.

Similar Species

Similar shape to other hawkfish eg. Cirrhitichthys falco however, N. armatus are unique in their colour.

Maximum Size

To about 9cm maximum length.

Associated Organisms

Associated with the stony coral Stylophora mordax, Pocillopora elegans, P. eydouxi and P. verrucosa in the wild.


N. armatus are generally peaceful with an extremely inquisitive personality. They will often perch on rocks and within the branches of hard corals observing what is happening outside the tank.

Captive Care

Tank Size

Substantial swimming space is not a prerequisite for N. armatus - but consideration should be given to its maximum anticipated size, remembering that these are very stocky fish!

Water Flow

Require well oxygenated water - normally requiring decent water flow.


No preference.


Carnivore - diet should include a variety of marine meats, frozen preparations, live mysid and brine shrimp. They commonly eat shrimp in the wild - yes even ornamental cleaner shrimp!

Growth Rate



A very tough fish - tolerant of poor water conditions, resistant to disease and copes with collection and transport well.


A notorious jumper. Some do, some don't - consider taking precautions.




Generally compatible with most reef fish, with the possible exception of other hawkfish.


No reported issues.


Despite their popularity, hawkfish are not generally what would be considered "reef safe". In captivity, have been reported to eat both feather dusters and ornamental shrimp, as well as pick hermit crabs and snails out of their shells.


N. armatus are protogynous hermaphrodites, beginning life as females. The dominant individual become male. There are no visible differences between males and females. They are monogamous pelagic spawners, releasing their eggs close to the water's surface at night. They have not yet been successfully bred in captivity.

Local Ecology


This species inhabits coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific.


Common along surge-swept reef fronts and submarine terraces to a depth of about 11m, often hiding among branches of Stylophora and Pocillopora.

Additional Information