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Species: Serranus notospilus, Saddle Bass

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

brown bar through eye, white bar - operculum & chest
body 4-6 brown bars
belly: bright white bar
juv: 2 black bars + 3 dark stripes
opercle spines poorly developed

Serranus notospilus Longley, 1935

Saddle 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, middle spine large, straight; preopercle regularly serrated, no spur with enlarged spines; gill rakers 15-20; dorsal fin X,12; anal fin III, 7-8; pelvics inserted before pectoral base; pectoral fin 16; tail with slightly concave edge, 13-15 branched rays; scales weakly rough, easily shed, relatively large, 5 rows of scales on cheek; 47-49 pored lateral line scales; top of head with scales to rear of eye.

Head & body whitish; an oblique dark bar through & under eye, followed by a white bar across top of head, operculum and chest; body with 4-6 brown bars, 3 of which extend onto the base of the dorsal fin, the last one as a dark blotch at the end of the soft dorsal; rear of belly with a bright white bar, with a thin dark bar immediately behind that; northern fish the slivery white bar is less well defined, the body bars are less distinct, with only one bar extending onto the soft dorsal. Juveniles with 2 black bars (1 under spiny dorsal the other under soft dorsal), and 3 dark stripeseye to upper tail base, behind eye to 1st dorsal soft ray, nape to base of 4th dorsal spine.

Reaches 15.3 cm.

On mud and sand bottoms with rubble, also in reef areas.

Depth range: 7-234 m, but usually below 80 m.

Georgia to French Guyana, also in 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)
  • Mud
  • 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
  • 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
  • 15.3
Depth Range Min
  • 7
Depth Range Max
  • 234