Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Malacanthidae
(Tilefishes) > Malacanthinae
Etymology: Malacanthus: Greek, mala = a lot + Greek, akantha = thorn (Ref. 45335). More on author: Bloch.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 10 - 153 m (Ref. 9626), usually 10 - 50 m (Ref. 9626). Subtropical; 34°N - 8°S
Western Atlantic: North Carolina (USA), Gulf of Mexico, and throughout the Caribbean to Rio de la Plata, Uruguay. Southeast Atlantic: Ascension Island.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 70.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 8991); common length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3644); max. published weight: 1.0 kg (Ref. 40637)
Primarily a shallow-water benthic species found on sand and rubble bottoms (Ref. 5246). Builds mounds of rubble and shell fragments near reefs and grass beds; enters its mound head first when frightened (Ref. 5246). Feeds mainly on stomatopods, fishes, polychaete worms, chitons, sea urchins, sea stars, amphipods and shrimps (Ref. 3644). Tends to bite when handled (Ref. 5246). Marketed fresh (Ref. 5246). Between 1995 and 2000, at least 7 specimens have been traded as aquarium fish at Ceará, Brazil (Ref. 49392).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Dooley, J.K., 1978. Systematics and biology of the tilefishes (Perciformes: Branchiostegidae and Malacanthidae) with descriptions of two new species. NOAA Tech. Rep. NMFS Circ. No. 411:1-78. (Ref. 8991)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Traumatogenic (Ref. 5246)
Fisheries: minor commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 23.6 - 28, mean 26.7 (based on 308 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.6250 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00537 (0.00237 - 0.01216), b=3.03 (2.82 - 3.24), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.7 ±0.3 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (63 of 100) .