Blackfin Pigfish

Bodianus Loxozonus
Blackfin Pigfish - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Bodianus Loxozonus
Other names Blackfin Hogfish, Blackfinned Pigfish, Eclipse Hogfish, Reef Pigfish
Size Up to 40 cm (15.7 in)
Weight Up to 2 kg (4.4 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, lagoons & seaward coral reefs
Depth Range 10 - 50 m (164 ft)
Blackfin Pigfish Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Blackfin Pigfish is primarily found along the eastern and northern coastlines of Australia, specifically in the waters of northern Queensland amongst the Great Barrier Reef.
  • The Blackfin Pigfish has a unique and striking appearance. It features a body that is elongated and slightly compressed from side to side. The dominant coloration of its body is a vibrant reddish-orange, with distinct black spots scattered across its upper body and fins. Its most notable feature is the black spot on the rear portion of its dorsal fin, which gives the species its name.
  • They are carnivorous and primarily feed on a variety of small invertebrates, such as crustaceans, molluscs, and small fish. They use their sharp teeth and powerful jaws to crush and consume their prey.
  • Blackfin Pigfish are generally solitary and territorial. They establish and defend their own territories within a specific section of the reef, where they will hunt for food and seek shelter. They may interact with other individuals during the breeding season or during encounters at territorial boundaries.
  • The Blackfin Pigfish is a protogynous hermaphrodite, meaning they start their lives as females and can later transition to males. They typically reach sexual maturity at around 2 to 3 years of age. Breeding season varies, but it often occurs during the warmer months of spring and summer when water temperatures rise, providing favourable conditions for reproduction.
  • During the breeding season, female Blackfin Pigfish release their eggs into the water column, while male individuals release their sperm. Fertilisation occurs externally, and the fertilised eggs develop into larvae that drift in the ocean currents.
  • Their estimated lifespan is between 12 – 15 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing, Snorkeling & Diving

The Blackfin Pigfish is occasionally targeted by recreational anglers, particularly in areas where they are more abundant on the reef. For snorkelers and divers, the Blackfin Pigfish can be an interesting species to observe. They are relatively active during the day, often swimming near the reef or hiding in crevices. Their vibrant colours and distinct markings make them easily distinguishable.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Bodianus

Species: Bodianus Loxozonus

Conservation Status

In Australia, the Blackfin Pigfish is not currently listed as a threatened or endangered species. It is generally considered to be of least concern due to its relatively stable population and widespread distribution.

Fish Taste Quality

Blackfin Pigfish are considered to be good to eat. It has firm, white flesh with a mild and sweet flavour. It is often described as being similar to other reef fish species.

Taste Rating: 3/5

How to catch
Blackfin Pigfish

Catch Difficulty: Intermediate

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig

Bait: Crab, Fresh cut flesh baits, Pilchards, Prawns, Squid, Worms

Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure

Popularity: Targeted

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Intermediate

Temperament: Peaceful

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Caves, Lagoon

Danger: None

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