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Species: Centropristis ocyurus, Bank Sea Bass

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

pale + ~6 bars above, row spots below
blue lines before eye
D&C: black spots
D 11, short filaments at spine tips
C: 15 branched rays, edge W shape

Centropristis ocyurus (Jordan & Evermann, 1887)

Bank Sea Bass

Body oblong, compressed; mouth large, reaching under center of eye; rear of top jaw exposed when mouth closed, without scales; teeth fixed, not moveable, on jaws in bands; a triangular patch of teeth at front of roof of mouth, bands of teeth along sides of roof of mouth; preopercle finely serrated, evenly rounded edge; opercle with 3 flat spines; gill rakers 17-22; dorsal fin X, membranes between dorsal fin spines with a short filament, 11 (10-12); pectorals 16-18; tail fin edge 3 lobed, with upper, middle and lower rays long and pointed, 15 branched rays; lateral line scales 46-48, 10-14 between lateral line and dorsal origin.

Pale cream to yellowish white, darker above; head with blue lines radiating forwards from eye; lips blue; 6-7 dark bars from dorsal fin base to flank, each bar with a separate dark rectangular blotch on the lateral line, sometimes a dark stripe running through those blotches; a row of dark spots along lower side and tail base; fins clear to yellowish; dorsal and tail fins with rows of black spots.

Reaches 30 cm.

Lives on shelly soft bottoms.

Depth range: 11-125 m, adults usually below 30 m.

N Carolina throughout the Gulf of Mexico.

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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)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
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
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30
Depth Range Min
  • 11
Depth Range Max
  • 125