Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 75 m. Subtropical; 37°N - 33°S, 82°W - 34°W
Western Atlantic: North Carolina, USA and Bermuda to Brazil.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 56.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26340); common length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3815); max. published weight: 680.00 g (Ref. 40637)
The cheek area is usually blue with yellow spots; the blue markings on the scales are more linear; no horizontal blue band above the gill opening, but a dark bluish smudge may often seen behind the upper end of the opening (Ref. 13442).
Adults are frequently found in coral areas, while the young prefer vegetated (e.g. Thalassia), sandy bottoms. Feeds mainly on mollusks, worms, brittle stars, hermit crabs, crabs and sea urchins. Easily approached (Ref. 9710). Marketed fresh and frozen (Ref. 5217).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
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)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30911)
Fisheries: minor commercial
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201
): 22.8 - 27.9, mean 26.7 °C (based on 222 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5001 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02291 (0.01439 - 0.03647), b=2.93 (2.80 - 3.06), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.2 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (42 of 100).
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 22.6 [9.6, 46.7] mg/100g ; Iron = 0.517 [0.263, 1.088] mg/100g ; Protein = 20 [19, 21] % ; Omega3 = 0.167 [0.095, 0.304] g/100g ; Selenium = 17.5 [7.7, 36.4] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 29 [7, 124] μg/100g ; Zinc = 0.63 [0.39, 0.96] mg/100g (wet weight);