Appearance''Paracirrhites arcatus'' grows to a maximum size of 20 cm in length, and occurs in a variety of colors. The body may be greenish-brown, dark brown or reddish-orange, while the tail usually is bluish. A broad, longitudinal white band runs along the distal half of the body. A characteristic ring-shaped or U-shaped tricolor marking occurs around and behind the eyes. The dorsal fin has ten spines and eleven soft rays, and the anal fin has three spines and six soft rays. These voracious predators are very territorial. They spend most of their time perched on corals, especially ''Acropora'', ''Stylophora'', and ''Pocillopora'' genera, waiting for prey to approach too close. They mostly feed on small fishes, shrimps, and crabs but also eat isopods, fish eggs and larvae. These fish occasionally find their way into the aquarium trade.
NamingThe genus name ''Paracirrhites'' derives from the Greek word ''para'', meaning "the side of" plus the Latin word ''cirrus'', meaning "curl". The species name ''arcatus'', meaning "arched", refers to the U-shaped marking around the eyes.
DistributionThe arc-eye hawkfish is widespread in the tropical Indo-Pacific. Its range extends from East Africa, Madagascar and the Maldives to Hawaii, southern Japan and western, northern and eastern Australia.
HabitatThe arc-eye hawkfish is a benthic species associated with coral reefs. It usually can be found in lagoon and seaward reefs, at a depth of 1–30 m , with a maximum of 91 m .
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