Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Orthopristis chrysoptera, Pigfish, Pigfish Grunt

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head orange spots, body - short oblique orange lines
D 12-13
A 12-13
10 scale rows above LL

Orthopristis chrysoptera (Linnaeus, 1766)

Pigfish, Pigfish Grunt

Body ovate, eliptical, compressed; depth 30-38% of standard length; rear margin of bone under eye concealed by scales; mouth short, ends before eye, with thin lips, not red inside; jaws with a narrow band of slender teeth; chin with 2 pores and a central groove; preopercle finely serrated, lower serrations do not point forwards; gill rakers short and slender, 12 on lower limb; dorsal fin XII-XIII, 12-13; anal fin III, 12-13, 2nd spine not much thicker and longer than 3rd spine; scales over entire body and head except front of snout, lips and chin; body scales without small accessory scales; dorsal and anal fin spines with low scaly sheath at base, soft fin without scales; lateral line with 53-58 scales; 10 scale rows above and 15-19 rows below lateral line.

Light blue-grey above, silvery below; each body scale with a blue center and a bronze spot at its edge, those spots form orange-brown stripes extending up and back along sides; head with bronze spots; rows of bronze spots on dorsal fin. Body may also have irregular wavy vertical bars, or two dark stripes, one through eye to base of tail fin, the other along the nape and upper back.

Size: 46 cm, 900 g.

Habitat: demersal on inshore soft bottoms, often in estuaries, occasionally on reefs.

Depth: 5-20 m.

The continental shore from New York to Cuba.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continental primarily
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • 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
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 20