Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Serranus phoebe, Tattler, Tattler Bass

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pale; dark oblique bar under eye
dark bar - front D to center belly, belly bright white
thick stripe mid flank, thin stripe above

Serranus phoebe Poey, 1851

Tattler, Tattler 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 well developed, middle spine large, straight; preopercle regularly serrated, no spur with enlarged spines; gill rakers 17-20; dorsal fin X,12 front spines elevated, almost no notch between spines and rays; anal fin III, 7; pelvics inserted before pectoral base; pectoral fin 15-16; tail fin with bluntly straight edge, 13-15 branched rays; scales very rough, relatively large, 6-7 rows of scales on cheek; 47-51 pored lateral line scales; top of head without scales.

Head and body pale brown above, whitish below; a dark brown bar through and under eye; a dark bar from top of front of spiny dorsal to bottom of belly, belly bright white before and after that dark bar; two thinner brown bars behind that; 2 brown stripes along rear of body and tail base, a thick one at midbody and a thin one above that. Juvenile - markings stronger.

Reaches 15 cm.

Rocky areas and sand with rubble.

Depth range: 27-402 m, usually below 100 m.

N Carolina to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Corals
  • 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 N + S 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
Depth Range Min
  • 15
Depth Range Max
  • 402