Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Pterycombus brama, Atlantic Fanfish, Atlantic Fanfish Pomfret

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D & A expand - > fan
upper scale sheath: D base only, not snout

Pterycombus brama Fries, 1837

Atlantic Fanfish, Atlantic Fanfish Pomfret

Head and body compressed, an elongate oval tapering to slender tail base; forehead profile convex; snout short, bluntly rounded; eye larger than snout; between eyes strongly rounded;mouth at front, strongly oblique, the rear of the top jaw wide, exposed and covered with scales; lower edges of bottom jawbone not touching along midline under head; rear nostril a slit; 6-7 gill rakers;the single dorsal and anal fins have long bases, similar shapes and sizes, I-III spines; dorsal fin origin over eye; dorsal and anal fin scaleless, high and sail-like (much higher in juvenile than adult), both can be depressed into a groove formed by a row of elongate scales along the base of the fin, that sheath not extending beyond origin onto snout; front rays of dorsal and anal fins of similar thickness, none enlarged; front of dorsal fin scale-sheath crossed by scales; dorsal 45-51; anal 39-43; pectoral 20-22; pectoral low on body, long, reaches to ~middle of anal fin; pelvics small, inserted before pectoral base; tail base, without transverse grooves; tail forked, stiff; scales small, cover body, nape, cheeks, operculum, and top jaw; scales on head smooth, those on body with small spines that increase in size towards rear of body; scales at end of tail base not abruptly larger than those at front of tail fin.

Body silvery grey; dorsal, anal and tail and pelvics blackish, pectoral clear; rear part of eye and iris black; inside mouth dusky.

Size: 46 cm.

Habitat: oceanic pelagic.

Depth: 25-400 m.

The tropical and temperate Atlantic; Newfoundland to the N Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Pelagic crustacea
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 46
Depth Range Min
  • 25
Depth Range Max
  • 400