...Spanish hogfish live in harems formed by up to 20 females and just one male?
Distribución: Bermuda, to the south of Florida, Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico.
Measurements: Up to 40 cm.
Food: it is a carnivorous fish with a varied diet, ranging from the starfish, crustaceans and molluscs to sea urchins.
Features: they have a blue back and yellowish belly, though only when young. As adults, their back takes on a reddish-purple and the head, belly, tail and anal fins are yellow.
Status of species: Least Concern
The spanish hogfish (Bodianus rufus) are distributed in coral and rocky areas of the western Atlantic, where they can swim and hide from predators without difficulty. So they are located around Bermuda, to the south of Florida, Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico.
They live in harems formed by up to 20 females and just one male that defends them and its territory against potential competitors. Where these harems are plentiful, and there is not much space, it is common to see males confronting each other. When this happens, males usually perform a sequence of behaviours such as extending their dorsal fins and making lateral exhibitions, and pursuing each other. Sometimes, these behaviours can be supplemented with face-to-mouth persecutions: face-to-face confrontations with their mouths open and occasionally biting. After a relatively short time (3 minutes) the males return to their harem.
Spanish hogfish caractheristics
The Spanish hogfish is easily located and identified. It is a small-bodied, hydrodynamic fish that can grow up to 40 cm, though they normally measure about 28 cm. They have a blue back and yellowish belly, though only when young. As adults, their back takes on a reddish-purple and the head, belly, tail and anal fins are yellow.
It is a carnivorous fish with a varied diet, ranging from the starfish, crustaceans and molluscs to sea urchins. In addition, like most wrasses, the Spanish hogfish also feeds on the parasites of other fish (especially as juveniles), so establishing a symbiotic relationship between them. While they feed on the other's parasites, the latter is cleaned. This can happen with groupers, surgeons and other fish.
They are protogynous hermaphrodites (gyne = woman), which means that initially they are females, and when they reach a larger size or sexual maturity they become males. This is not something isolated to these fish, but happens in many fish from around the world. In those cases when they are first males and then females, they are called protandric hermaphrodites. (andro = man). Sex change is a strategy to ensure an adequate proportion of sexes in the population, constituting a means of ensuring reproductive success.
Discover the spanish hogfish in the Oceans facility and in the Tropical facility if the Oceangràfic.