Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Hemanthias leptus, Longtail Bass

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

red, flank - yellow spots
yellow stripe: snout to pectoral base, fins yellow
D, spine III long filament
C shallow fork/~straight
preopercle serrated, but no long spines
pelvic long

Hemanthias leptus (Ginsburg, 1952)

Longtail Bass

Body elongate, compressed, oval; head pointed, short, compressed; eye large; mouth strongly oblique; rear of top jaw exposed when mouth closed, without accessory bone above it; canine teeth at front of mouth; teeth on center and sides of roof of mouth; preopercle margin serrated above and below, no long spines; 34-39 gill rakers; dorsal fin with X, 14 (rarely 13), third dorsal spine long and filamentous, at least in adults; anal fin III, 8 (rarely 7); pelvics inserted under base of pectoral, long (40-76% of SL in adults); pectorals 15-19; tail fin forked in smaller fish, straight in adults; scales small, rough, 54-62 on lateral line, 7-8 rows between 5th dorsal fin and lateral line; top jaw and most of snout and area between eyes scaleless.

Reddish pink above, fading to pinkish white below; yellow stripe below eye from snout to above pectoral fin base; flank with a broad band of yellow spots; fins pink and yellow.

Size: grows to 56 cm.

Inhabits rocky reefs.

Depth: 35-640 m.

North Carolina to Suriname, also in 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
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • 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
  • 56
Depth Range Min
  • 35
Depth Range Max
  • 640