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Species: Haemulon macrostoma, Spanish Grunt

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

silver above + 3 black stripes, black below; yellow - top back & fin edges
juv: center & lower stripes converge, C base - dark wedge
D XII, 15-17
gill rakers 26-28
scale rows below LL oblique

Haemulon macrostoma Gunther, 1859

Spanish Grunt

Body oblong, compressed; body depth 37-41% of SL; head bluntly pointed, its upper profile slightly convex on nape, slightly concave before eye, 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 26-28; dorsal fin continuous, with small to moderate notch in middle, XII, 15-17; 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 oblique to body axis.

Adult: silvery grey; nape and upper back greenish yellow; upper half with 3 strong black stripes, thickest from snout, through eye to end of tail base; thin black stripes between the thick ones; lower body dark to black; yellow saddle on upper tail base; dorsal fin yellowish outer part, dusky inner part; tail and anal fin dark, with broad yellowish rear edges; pectoral yellowish; pelvic dark, with white front edge; inside mouth red. Juvenile: nape yellow green; 3 black stripes: 1 from snout through eye to tail base, ending in a wedge-shaped black spot on tail fin base; 1 from top of eye back along lateral line to join the first stripe; 1 from above eye along top of back.

Reaches 45 cm.

Habitat: in clear water areas, on reefs and hard bottoms.

Depth: 1-99 m.

Bermuda to the southern Caribbean

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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
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
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
  • 45
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 99