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Species: Serranus atrobranchus, Blackear Bass

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pale brown, +/- dark bar - spiny D to anus
top corner opercle- oblique, narrow black, blue-edged bar
opercle - only central spine visible

Serranus atrobranchus (Cuvier, 1829)

Blackear Bass

Body elongate, moderately compressed; snout shorter than eye; rear of top jaw exposed when mouth closed, without accessory bone above it; 3 opercular spines poorly developed, top and bottom spines hidden by scales; preopercle regularly serrated, no spur with enlarged spines; gill rakers 15-20; dorsal fin X,12; anal fin III, 7; pelvics inserted before pectoral base; pectoral fin 15-17; tail with slightly concave edge, 13-15 branched rays; scales weakly rough, easily shed, relatively large, 5 rows of scales on cheek; 44-47 pored lateral line scales; top of head with scales to rear of eye.

Head & body grey brown to yellowish; top corner of operculum with a thin, curved, elongate black blotch, bordered with blue-white; dorsal, anal an pelvic fins yellow; tail clear; in some areas a broad, oblique dark bar on upper 2/3 of body extending as a dark blotch on the spiny dorsal fin.

Reaches 12 cm.

Mud and sand/mud bottoms.

Depth range: 10-370 m.

The Gulf of Mexico to Brazil.

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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)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • 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)
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)
  • Continental primarily
  • 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
  • 12
Depth Range Min
  • 10
Depth Range Max
  • 370