Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 0 - 60 m (Ref. 36484). Subtropical; 34°N - 34°S, 98°W - 34°W
Western Atlantic: Bermuda, South Carolina (USA), and northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil; throughout the West Indies and the coasts of Central America (Ref. 3798).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 16.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7251); common length : 17.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3798)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 8. Mostly yellow, paler below. Scales below lateral line in oblique rows and much larger than those above lateral line. No other grunt has enlarged scales below the lateral line (Ref. 26938).
Occurs in large schools on rocky and coral reefs, often under ledges or close to elkhorn coral (Ref. 9710). Juveniles abundant in near-shore seagrass beds (Ref. 9710). Feeds mainly on small crustaceans (Ref. 3798). Marketed fresh (Ref. 3798).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Oviparous, distinct pairing during breeding (Ref. 205).
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. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30303)
Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: public aquariums; bait: usually
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 25.4 - 28, mean 27.2 °C (based on 240 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01380 (0.00871 - 0.02187), b=3.00 (2.87 - 3.13), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.1 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.24).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (32 of 100) .