Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region, from South Africa to the Marquesas Islands, north to the Mariana Islands, south to New Caledonia. In Australia recorded from Shark Bay in Western Australia, offshore reefs in northern Australia, the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, south to northern New South Wales.
Frequent areas of rich coral growth in clear water lagoons, channels or seaward reefs to depths of at least 40 m.
Variable in colour from pale to pink with large relatively evenly-sized grey to bright red blotches on body, spots on face, dorsal fin and tail. Similar C. falco has darker banding on forebody and distinct stripes from eye to jaw. Similar habit to most other hawkfishes, often seen perching on or under hard and soft corals, feeds on small fish and crustaceans. Grows to 10 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.231.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=Cirrhitichthys+oxycephalus. Accessed 29/05/2019.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://www.fishbase.de/summary/Cirrhitichthys-oxycephalus.html. Accessed 29/05/2019.