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Species: Haemulon aurolineatum, Tomtate, Tomtate Grunt

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

2 yellow stripes, fins pale, C base - black blotch
juv: middle stripe short, C base - double spot
D XIII-XIV, 15 (14-16)
A 9
scales below LL parallel to body axis

Haemulon aurolineatum Cuvier in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1830

Tomtate, Tomtate Grunt

Body oblong, compressed; body depth ~32-36% of SL; head deep, blunt, its upper profile convex on nape then straight to mouth; rear margin of bone under eye concealed by scales; mouth small to moderate, lips not fleshy; underside of chin with 2 large pores and a central groove; preoperculum finely serrated, without spines; gill rakers 24-28; dorsal fin continuous, with small to moderate notch in middle, XIII-XIV, 15 (14-16); anal rays III, 9, 2nd and 3rd spines similar; tail forked; soft dorsal and anal densely scaled nearly to the edge of the fin; scales rough; scales over entire body and head except front of snout, lips and chin; pectoral fin scaled on base only; lateral-line scales 50-52; scale rows below lateral line horizontal to body axis.

Adult: silvery white; head dusky with grey snout; 2 bronze-yellow stripes, one along midline from snout to tail base, the other along upper side; other thin faint yellow stripes between those two; a large dark blotch on base of tail fin, upper and lower borders of that fin may be dark; rest of fins pale; inside mouth red. Juvenile: 3 stripes, one along top of back to end of dorsal fin base, a short one at top of eye, the 3rd from eye to a double black spot on tail fin base.

Size: attains 25 cm.

Habitat: common on shallow reefs.

Depth: 1-140 m.

Chesapeake Bay to Brazil.

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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)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • 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
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Pelagic fish eggs
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
  • Extends North of GC
  • 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)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 25
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 140