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Species: Gonioplectrus hispanus, Spanish Flag

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red + 6 yellow stripes; belly white blotch
A - large red blotch
pelvics mauve

Gonioplectrus hispanus (Cuvier, 1828)

Spanish Flag

Body oblong, depth about equal to head length; head large, 42-45% of SL, upper profile angular; top of head rough, without scales; rear of top jaw exposed when mouth closed, with a hidden bony knob under its rear end; jaws with a band of minute, depressible teeth, a short, curved, fixed canine on each side at the front of the jaws, and 1-3 similar canines along the side of each jaw; preopercle rounded, lower margin fleshy and with a large forward curved spine at its corner that is hidden by skin and scales; central opercular spine large and knife-like, extending to edge of operculum; dorsal fin VIII, 13, base of spiny part longer than base of soft part; anal fin III, 7; inner 1/3 of pelvic fin connected to body by skin; pectorals symmetrically rounded; tail fin bluntly straight to slightly rounded; lateral line curves up under spiny dorsal then down under soft dorsal; scales large, rough, 47-49 on lateral line.

Head reddish, with a yellow stripe from snout through eye to origin of dorsal fin, and yellow spots on cheek and operculum; body red, 6-7 yellow stripes from head to soft dorsal and tail base; a large blood red blotch on front of anal fin; a large white blotch on side of belly; pelvic fins mauve.

Reaches 30 cm.

Lives on hard bottoms.

Depth range: 35-460 m.

Gulf of Mexico to Brazil.

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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)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • 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
  • 35
Depth Range Max
  • 460