Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Serraniculus pumilio, Pygmy Sea Bass

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

white bar - center belly
2 broad dark bars under D
pelvics & A black.
D X (membranes indented), 10-11
tail base abruptly white
roof mouth with teeth

Serraniculus pumilio Ginsburg, 1952

Pygmy Sea Bass

Body elongate, spindle shaped; head long, pointed; front and rear nostrils close together, front nostrils with a large skin flap on rear edge; top jaw moderately protrusible, reaches under center of eye; rear of top jaw exposed when mouth closed, without accessory bone above it; bands of simple, fixed teeth on jaws and front and sides of roof of mouth; 9-13 gill rakers; preoperculum serrated on rear edge, smooth below; dorsal fin X, membranes indented between spines, 10-11 soft rays; anal fin III, 6-7; tail fin slightly rounded; lateral line parallels curved of upper body profile; lateral line scales 40-46; scales rough, extend on head to rear of eyes.

Head and body mottled with brown to red-brown; a dark bar between eyes, another from eye to snout, 2 more from eye to mouth; 2 broad irregular dark bars on body, 1 under end of spiny dorsal, the other under the end of the soft dorsal, the front bar can extend onto the spiny dorsal as a dark blotch; a strong white bar in center of belly; a row of small black spots along lateral line; dorsal fin with a row of small black spots up 1st spine; pelvics and anal fin black; tail base abruptly white; tail fin with several small black spots along its top edge, a black spot on center of its base, with a white blotch above and below that.

Reaches 8.6 cm

Lives in seagrass beds and sand and rubble bottoms, abundant in the Gulf of Mexico on the latter habitat at 19-70 m.

Depth range: 0-165 m, usually 20-80 m.

N Carolina to Guyana.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continental primarily
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • 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
  • 8.6
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 165