Wildlife Fact Sheets

Hogfish

Hogfish

Hogfish

Lachnolaimus maximus

  • Life Span
    Up to 11 years
  • Habitat
    Hogfish like hard bottom areas on the ocean floor including coral reefs, rocky ledges and artificial reefs like wrecks
  • Range
    Western Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea
  • Preferred Food
    Hogfish are opportunistic feeders, meaning they’ll eat what they can find, including clams, urchins and snails

About

Hogfish get their unique name from their long, hog-like nose. Their snout is not just for looks, though—hogfish use it to root around in the sand to find buried mollusks and crustaceans. Because hogfish spend most of the time on the ocean floor, it’s trickier for fishermen to nab them by hook and line. Instead, people resort to spearfishing to catch hogfish. The hogfish is a restaurant favorite with their white, flaky fillet. Hogfish are overfished in part of their range, leading fishery managers to implement size and bag limits for fishermen so that stocks can rebuild.

Did You Know?

Hogfish are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning they can switch from females to males when they get to a larger size. Hogfish also form little fish harems, where one male hangs out and mates with multiple females.

Status and Conservation

Hogfish like to hang out on the ocean floor so they can be close to their food. You can see hogfish in small groups by reef edges around 10-100 feet below the surface. Hogfish particularly like areas with lots and lots of gorgonian corals.

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