Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Emmelichthyops atlanticus, the Bonnetmouth

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D XI-XII, wide gap
tail base no keel
red-brown stripes; fins reddish

Emmelichthyops atlanticus Schultz, 1945


Elongate, rounded fusiform body; snout about eye length; mouth small, opens at front, top jaw highly protrusible, covered by bone under eye when mouth is closed, scaleless; no teeth on jaws or roof of mouth; 2 large pores on chin; preoperculum coarsely serrated, its corner extended and rounded; operculum with a broad, flat spine at rear; gill rakers long and slender; pectoral inserts high on flank, pointed; pelvic inserts just behind pectoral base; dorsal IX-X + II, 9-10, last spine segmented at tip, two parts widely separated by a scaled space; anal fin II-III, 8-11; tail fin deeply forked; tail base broad, but no lateral keel; lateral line complete, extends onto tail fin, nearly to its rear edge; body and most of head with rough scales; second dorsal with a sheath of scales along its base; ~75 pored scales on lateral line.

Metallic yellow-green to red-brown above, sliverly whitish below; snout tinted blue with orange; upper body of adult with 4 indistinct brown stripes. Juvenile with 3 brown stripes; dorsal and tail fins with rays orange; other fins whitish.

Reaches 15 cm.


Depth range: 0-128 m.

Bermuda to the S Caribbean.

Note: Previously placed in the family Inermiidae. Recent genetic study has shown that both species of Inermiids (Inermia vittata and Emmelichthyops atlanticus)  are actually members of the family Haemulidae, and that I. vittata is actually a species of Haemulon.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Near Bottom
  • Surface
  • Near Surface
  • Mid Water
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continent
  • Extends South of GC
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 15
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 128