Hogfish have a fascinating life history; they are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning that individuals first function sexually as females and then later, upon reaching a larger size, transform into males (4). This change generally occurs at around three years of age and a length of about 35 centimetres (4). Hogfish form harems; groups of females dominated by a larger male. The male and the females simultaneously release gametes into the surrounding water where fertilisation occurs. The fertilised eggs develop quickly into larvae, a stage which lasts several weeks until they grow into juveniles. Off the coast of Florida, this spawning event occurs during February and March (4).
Hogfish forage during the day, feeding primarily on gastropods and bivalve molluscs, but also on crabs, sea urchins, and barnacles (2). It can use its long snout and protractible mouth to root in the sand for its favoured prey (3). Hogfish may live for up to 11 years (4).