Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 3 - 200 m (Ref. 26938). Subtropical; 42°N - 18°S, 98°W - 34°W
Western Atlantic: Rhode Island (USA), Bermuda, and northern Gulf of Mexico southward to Brazil. Most abundant in the West Indies (Ref. 9626).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 36.0, range 30 - 42 cm
Max length : 76.0 cm FL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); common length : 54.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3815); max. published weight: 10.6 kg (Ref. 4699)
soft rays: 10. Blue line under each eye. Corner of mouth and isthmus have orange cast (Ref. 26938). An irregular row of small molariform teeth inside and toward the front of the three usual rows of molars at side of upper jaw; dorsal profile of head evenly convex and not very steep (Ref. 13442).
Inhabits coastal waters. Found on vegetated sand bottoms and more frequently on coral bottoms. Occasionally found at depths at least 180m (Ref. 09710) and 200 m. (Ref. 26938). Large adults are usually solitary. Feeds mainly on sea urchins, (including Diadema, Ref. 13442), crabs and mollusks. Excellent food fish (Ref. 5521).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986. A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 354 p. (Ref. 7251)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 125652)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 9710)
Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201
): 18.6 - 27.5, mean 24.3 °C (based on 261 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5001 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02630 (0.01676 - 0.04129), b=2.92 (2.79 - 3.05), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.2 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=3).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (56 of 100).
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 19 [9, 37] mg/100g ; Iron = 0.634 [0.342, 1.234] mg/100g ; Protein = 20.3 [19.0, 21.5] % ; Omega3 = 0.182 [0.105, 0.336] g/100g ; Selenium = 16.3 [7.9, 35.7] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 28.1 [6.8, 110.5] μg/100g ; Zinc = 0.649 [0.370, 1.091] mg/100g (wet weight);