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Species: Haemulon carbonarium, Caesar Grunt

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

~10 thin yellow stripes, fins black
juv: middle stripe front 1/2 body, C base - oblong/oval spot
D XII, 15 (14-16)
scale rows below LL horizontal

Haemulon carbonarium Poey, 1860

Caesar Grunt

Body oblong, compressed; body depth 36-39% 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 23-25; dorsal fin continuous, with small to moderate notch in middle, XII, 15-16; anal rays III, 8, 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 49-50; scale rows below lateral line ~horizontal to body axis; scales above and below lateral line about same size.

Adult: silvery grey, dusky to black on belly; head steel blue; head and body with ~10 thin coppery stripes; dorsal fin black with bronze on membranes between spines and on base of soft part; tail and anal fins black, the tail pale at rear, the anal bronze at rear; paired fins blackish; inside mouth red. Juvenile: 3 dark stripes: 1 from snout above eye to end of dorsal fin base, 1 from top of eye back along front ½ of lateral line (this often bronze, and lengthening with age), 1 from snout through eye along mid-side to near tail fin; a large, horizontal oval or cuadrangular black spot on tail fin base.

Size: attains 40 cm.

Habitat: on reefs and hard bottoms.

Depth: 2-52 m.

Bermuda to the southern Caribbean, also in Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
  • Sessile worms
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 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)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 40
Depth Range Min
  • 2
Depth Range Max
  • 52