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Species: Haemulon bonariense, Black Grunt

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

silver + thin oblque undulating stripes
pectoral clear; C dark
juv: middle stripe short, C base - 1 spot, broad front edge
D XII, 15-16
gill rakers 18-24
scale rows under LL oblique
LL 45-48

Haemulon bonariense Cuvier in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1830

Black Grunt

Body oblong, compressed; body depth 33-40% 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 18-24; dorsal fin continuous, with small to moderate notch in middle, XII, 15-16; anal rays III, 8-9, 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 45-48; scale rows below lateral line oblique to body axis.

Adult: head & body silvery; body with narrow undulating oblique dark lines along scale rows; pectorals transparent, other fins dusky to dark brown; a black blotch under lower corner of preopercle. Juvenile: two long stripes plus a short one at top of eye; tail fin base with 1 black spot with a broad front edge.

Size: attains 40 cm.

Habitat: on soft bottoms and low-relief hard bottoms.

Depth: 1-50 m.

Florida to the southern Caribbean.

Note: A study by Rodrigo Moura indicates that the correct name for this species is H cana (Cuvier, 1830), and that H bonariense should be used for the Atlantic population what is currently referred to as H steindachneri (here referred to as H cf steindachneri).

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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
  • 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
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
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
  • 40
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 50