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Species: Serranus tortugarum, Chalk Bass

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

blue-grey to pink-brown
~8 white narrow bars - upper head & back
flank - row 2-3 pale blotches

Serranus tortugarum Longley, 1935

Chalk Bass

Body elongate, oval, 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 straight; preopercle regularly serrated, no spur with enlarged spines; gill rakers 27-31; dorsal fin X,12; anal fin III, 7; pelvics inserted before pectoral base; pectoral fin 13-15; tail fin with bluntly straight edge, 13-15 branched rays; scales rough, relatively large, 5-6 rows of scales on cheek; 46-50 pored lateral line scales; top of head without scales.

Head and body pale blue-grey, to pinkish brown; 8 thin blue-grey bars across upper body, from behind eye to tail base, those below dorsal fin extend onto that fin; flank with a row of 2-3 pale blotches; fins transparent to pinkish.

Reaches 8 cm.

Sand and rubble areas around reefs.

Depth range: 2- 91 m.

Bahamas to the S Caribbean.

Note: Records at 350-400 m are erroneous

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • 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
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Pelagic fish eggs
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC 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
Depth Range Min
  • 2
Depth Range Max
  • 91