Longnose hawkfish (Silke Baron / CC BY)

Hawkfish have stout to moderately elongated, often colorful bodies, and large heads. The scientific name, Cirrhitidae, derives from a set of cirri that are attached near the tips of ten dorsal fin spines. Hawkfish species normally range from 7 centimeters (2.8 inches, dwarf hawkfish) to 28 centimeters (11 inches, halfspotted hawkfish) in length. They can be found on the branches of soft and hard corals or sponges.

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This supplemental online resource accompanies the book Scuba Diving Hand Signals by Lars Behnke, available on Amazon.