Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 80 m (Ref. 5217). Subtropical; 42°N - 35°S, 98°W - 28°W
Western Atlantic: North Carolina, USA, the northern Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas southward to Uruguay. Occurrence in western Caribbean is doubtful (Ref. 26938).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 12.9  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7251); common length : 16.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217)
soft rays: 7 - 8. Body pale brown dorsally with several vertical dark brown bars, becoming white ventrally; dorsal fin dusky with longitudinal yellow lines; pectoral, pelvic and anal fins dusky; caudal fin dusky with small yellow blotches (Ref. 13608). Preopercle has spines radiating from 2 centers (Ref. 26938).
Inhabits bays, coastal grassy areas and shallow banks. Solitary (Ref. 26340) and retreats into shelter when frightened (Ref. 9710). Neither opercular spine nor anterolateral glandular grooves with venom gland is present (Ref. 57406). Synchronously hermaphroditic. Popular as a pan fish despite its small size.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Simultaenous hermaphrodite. The gonad contains ovarian and testicular tissue separated by a thin basement membrane, with no means of internal self-fertilization.
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. 126983)
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201
): 21.9 - 28, mean 25.2 °C (based on 542 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5002 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00912 (0.00746 - 0.01115), b=3.10 (3.06 - 3.14), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 4.5 ±0.0 se; based on diet studies.
Generation time: 3.8 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 2 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.29-1.5; tm=1.01).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (15 of 100).
Climate Vulnerability (Ref. 125649
): Moderate vulnerability (36 of 100).
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 45.5 [21.2, 110.6] mg/100g; Iron = 0.928 [0.416, 1.865] mg/100g; Protein = 19.6 [17.6, 21.4] %; Omega3 = 0.276 [0.136, 0.546] g/100g; Selenium = 21.5 [9.2, 50.2] μg/100g; VitaminA = 46.5 [12.7, 213.2] μg/100g; Zinc = 0.712 [0.414, 1.183] mg/100g (wet weight);