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Hogfish

Hogfish are large members of the Wrasse family of reef fishes. Like other Wrasses species, Hogfish undergo changes in coloring and body structure as they mature. The common Hogfish Lachnolaimus maximus seen around Key West are usually between 1-2 feet in length. They are pinkish-white in the juvenile stage, with the first three rays of the dorsal fin dramatically lengthened. The upper and lower rays of the tail fin are also longer than the rest. Adult fish are white with a bold black facial/forehead stripe and an extended snout. The Hogfish has a downward-sloped snout and a large mouth with rubbery lips and protruding canine-like front teeth. Hogfish are often spotted cruising sandy reefs and grass flats singly or in pairs grazing on a variety of snails, worms, crabs, shrimps, and eggs. Hogfish are a highly-prized eating fish so they are more frequently seen in areas that are protected from spearfishing.

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