Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Peristedion gracile, Slender armored searobin, Temperate slender armored searobin

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face rim v narrow
rostral plates long, narrow
2Ds - central red stripe
body slender, rectangular
barbels: lip 5; chin 26-36
bicolored: red above, white below

Peristedion gracile Goode & Bean, 1896

Temperate slender armored searobin

Head and body flattened below, body completely covered in a heavy armor of 4 rows of bony spiny scales; body slender, narrow, rectangular in cross section, its depth and width at anus about as great as head; head short, narrow, bony rim around its side narrow, ends in a spine; broad between eyes (width ~snout rostrum length); snout long and narrow, rostral plates moderate to long, narrow, almost parallel; no spines at base of snout rostrum or nostril; very short spine on preoperculum; barbels: 5 lower lip barbels in 2 clusters; 26-36 chin barbels in 7 clusters; dorsal fin divided into separate spiny and soft parts, VIII + 20, spiny part high, soft part low; anal fin without spines, 20-21; pectoral fin 12 + 2 free rays, fin short; pelvic fins wide apart, below base of pectorals, I, 5 rays.

Bicolored, reddish to yellowish above, white below; a dark stripe through middle of dorsal fins; rear edge of tail dark red.

Reaches 20 cm.

Habitat sand/mud and hard bottoms.

Depth range: 29-940 m, usually shallower than 146 m.

Virginia to the Gulf of Mexico.


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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Mud
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef and soft bottom
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Extends North of GC
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species..
  • Continental primarily
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 20
Depth Range Min
  • 29
Depth Range Max
  • 940