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Species: Centropristis striata, Black Sea Bass

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

dark, pale spot on each scale
D spines silver, membranes black
D 11, short filaments at spine tips
C: 15 branched rays, edge W shape

Centropristis striata (Linnaeus, 1758)

Black Sea Bass

Body oblong, compressed; mouth large, reaching under center of eye; rear of top jaw exposed when mouth closed, without scales; teeth 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 21-29; dorsal fin X, membranes between dorsal fin spines with a short filament, rear spines shorter than front rays, 11 (10-12); anal fin III, 7; pectorals 15-21; tail fin edge 3 lobed, with upper, middle and lower rays long and pointed, 15 branched rays; lateral line scales 46-49, 11-18 between lateral line and dorsal origin.

Head and body dark grey-brown to bluish blackish, with a pearl spot on each scale that form pale stripes along body; body varies from uniform to having irregular dark bars on a paler background; head uniform dark to dark with a pale cheek; dorsal fin spines silvery blue, membranes black, with longitudinal rows of white spots, spine filaments whitish; tail dark, upper and lower edges whitish; large males with a conspicuous blue hump on nape; juvenile: mottled with brown blotches and small pearl spots; a dark stripe along center of body; a large black spot at base of last 3 dorsal fin spines; blue lines on lower part of head.

Reaches 66 cm, 5 kg; maximum age > 20 y.

Lives on hard bottoms.

Depth range: 0-110 m.

Massachusetts to the northern Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • 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)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 66
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 110