Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Prionotus carolinus, Northern Searobin

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

D 1 ocellus
top end tail base: white spot
gill membrane under throat: rays dark/black
pectoral: rounded, reaches front A rays, yellowish + 2-3 dark cross-bars (upper bar spotted)

Prionotus carolinus (Linnaeus, 1771)

Northern Searobin

Snout long, sloping; mouth small, opens slightly under snout, lower jaw not projecting; no cirri over nostrils or eyes; preopercular spine reaches just past edge of operculum; dorsal rays X, 12; anal rays 10; pectoral fins with rounded rear edge, 13-14 joined rays, with 3 enlarged, free rays at bottom of fin, fin reaching to ~4th anal fin ray; body scaled; membrane above opercular spine with scales; nape with scales.

Upper body mottled with dark spots and blotches; upper back with a row of 6 white spots; dorsal fin with a white stripe under a dark, non-ocellated spot between spines IV and V; membranes under throat dusky to black; pectoral fin yellowish-brown, 2-3 dark cross bars, upper bar spotted; top of end of tail base with a white spot; tail fin with white bars above, dark below; anal fin with a dark stripe, white outer edging.

Size: reaches 38 cm.

Habitat: mud-sand bottoms.

Depth: 9-170 m, usually 18-55 m.

Nova Scotia to Florida.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • No pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 38
Depth Range Min
  • 9
Depth Range Max
  • 170