Axilspot Hogfish- Bay of Bengal Hogfish

(Bodianus axillaris)

Bodianus axillaris, commonly known as the axillary wrasse or the axilspot hogfish, is a species of fish belonging to the family Labridae. Here are some key characteristics and information about Bodianus axillaris:

  1. Physical Appearance: The axillary wrasse has a robust, elongated body with a pointed snout and a large mouth. It typically has a pink to reddish coloration with darker red or maroon markings on the body. There is often a distinctive dark spot or blotch at the base of the pectoral fin (hence the name “axilspot”). Juveniles may have a different color pattern with lighter and darker bands.
  2. Size: They can grow to a maximum length of about 25-30 centimeters (10-12 inches).
  3. Distribution: Bodianus axillaris is found in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region. Its range extends from the eastern coast of Africa, including the Red Sea, to the western Pacific Ocean, including areas such as the Great Barrier Reef, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.
  4. Habitat: Axillary wrasses inhabit coral reefs, rocky areas, and lagoons with clear waters and moderate currents. They are typically found at depths ranging from shallow reefs down to about 30 meters (100 feet). They prefer areas with ample hiding places among coral heads, rocks, or crevices.
  5. Behavior: These wrasses are carnivorous and feed primarily on small invertebrates such as crustaceans, mollusks, and other small organisms found within the substrate and coral crevices. They are known to pick at the substrate with their specialized teeth to extract prey.