Chaetodipterus faber, Atlantic spadefish : fisheries, aquaculture, gamefish, aquarium

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Chaetodipterus faber (Broussonet 1782)

Atlantic spadefish
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Chaetodipterus faber   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Chaetodipterus faber (Atlantic spadefish)
Chaetodipterus faber
Picture by Randall, J.E.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Acanthuriformes (Surgeonfishes) > Ephippidae (Spadefishes, batfishes and scats)
Etymology: Chaetodipterus: Greek, chaite = hair + Greek, dipteros = with two fins (Ref. 45335).

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; brackish; reef-associated; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 3 - 35 m (Ref. 26912).   Subtropical; 43°N - 34°S, 98°W - 34°W

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Western Atlantic: Massachusetts, USA and northern Gulf of Mexico to Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (Ref. 47377).

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 12 - ? cm
Max length : 91.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7251); common length : 50.4 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26466); max. published weight: 9.0 kg (Ref. 7251)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 21-24; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 17 - 18. Very deep-bodied, compressed, disk-shaped fish with a very blunt snout. Irregular, bold, blackish, vertical bands that fade with age. Second dorsal and anal fins have high anterior lobes (Ref. 26938). Mouth small, the maxilla of adults ending beneath nostrils; no teeth on roof of mouth; scales ctenoid; head and fins scaled; opercle ends in an obtuse point (Ref. 13442).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Abundant in shallow coastal waters, from mangroves and sandy beaches to wrecks and harbors. Juveniles (black phase) are common in estuaries and often found in very shallow water swimming at an angle resembling dead leaves or as infertile red mangrove pods and other debris. Adults often occur in very large schools of up to 500 individuals (Ref. 9710). Feed on benthic invertebrates like crustaceans, mollusks, annelids, cnidarians as well as on plankton (Ref. 35237). Good food fish (Ref. 5521); marketed fresh (Ref. 5217). Often circles divers (Ref. 9710). Minimum depth from Ref. 9710. In southeastern Brazil found between 23 and 45 m (Ref. 47377). Has been reared in captivity (Ref. 35425).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

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)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 29 January 2013

CITES (Ref. 123416)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30303)

Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
FAO(Publication : search) | FishSource | Sea Around Us

More information

Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


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Internet sources

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 22.6 - 28, mean 25.4 °C (based on 380 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.6250   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.03311 (0.02520 - 0.04351), b=2.94 (2.86 - 3.02), 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.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tmax=8; tm=1; K=0.34).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (49 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.