Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Priacanthidae
(Bigeyes or catalufas)
Etymology: Priacanthus: Greek, prion = saw + Greek, akantha = thorn (Ref. 45335). More on author: Forsskål.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 8 - 250 m (Ref. 9710). Tropical; 36°N - 36°S, 24°E - 109°W
Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and southern Africa to French Polynesia, north to southern Japan, south to Australia. Reported from Easter Island (Ref. 33390).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 22.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 45.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4328); common length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5450)
soft rays: 13 - 16. This species is distinguished by the following characters: body depth 2.5-2.9 in SL; poorly developed preopercular spine, reduced or inconspicuous to non-existent in adults (> 12.5 cm TL); total gill rakers in first gill arch 24-26; soft portion of dorsal fin taller than spinous portion, angular posteriorly; pectoral fins shorter than pelvic spine; pelvic fins long, reaching posterior to spinous portion of anal fin; distinctly emarginate caudal fin; scales modified, the posterior field elevated as a separate flange with spinules both on surface and posterior margin; vertical scale rows (dorsal-fin origin to anus) 48-57; swimbladder with pair of anterior and posterior protrusions. Colour of body entirely red or capable of quickly changing to silvery with about 6 red bars or large spots on upper side (dusky spots evident on dorsal and anal fin in blotchy or barred fish); membranes of caudal and pelvic fins blackish distally (Ref. 54980, 68288, 90102).
Uncommon species found in outer reef slopes and deep lagoon pinnacles from 8 to at least 80 m. In small aggregations, sometimes schools in oceanic locations (Ref. 48635). Also found under ledges or hovering next to coral heads during day (Ref 90102). Feeds on small fish, crustaceans, and other small invertebrates (Ref. 5213). Occasionally taken in moderate numbers in trawls and by hook-and-line (Ref. 68288). Generally marketed fresh, may be salted or dried (Ref. 5284).
Starnes, W.C., 1988. Revision, phylogeny and biogeographic comments on the circumtropical marine percoid fish family Priacanthidae. Bull. Mar. Sci. 43(2):117-203. (Ref. 5403)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 19.1 - 28.2, mean 26.2 (based on 1065 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5002 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01778 (0.01246 - 0.02538), b=2.87 (2.77 - 2.97), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.6 ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.5-0.7; Fec=13,133).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (24 of 100) .