Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Pareques acuminatus, High-hat, High-hat Drum

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white + 3-5 broad stripes + narrow stripes in between
spiny D relatively high
juv: bar between eyes; 2 spots on snout, pectoral black

Pareques acuminatus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

High-hat, High-hat Drum

Body oblong, deep, back strongly arched, head low; snout overhangs horizontal mouth; top jaw notched, encloses lower; teeth in villiform band, those in outer row of lower jaw enlarged; chin with 5 pores, no barbels; snout with 10 pores; gill rakers 14-20, short and slender; preopercle weakly serrated; top corner of gill opening notched; dorsal fin with long base, deep notch between spiny and soft parts, VIII-X + I, 37-41, spiny part high but < head length, reaches 6th soft ray when pressed down; anal fin II, 2nd spine slender, 7-8; scales rough on body, smooth on head; soft dorsal and anal fins with thick sheaths of scales; the lateral line extends to the center of the end of the tail fin.

Adult with whitish body and fins; 3-5 broad black stripes plus narrow stripes in between those; spiny dorsal with a black bar, rear edge whitish. Juvenile with a mix of thick and thin black and white stripes on body, a bar across snout between eyes, 2 spots below that on snout, and black on the upper pectoral.

Maximum size to 25 cm.

Inhabits reefs during the day; sand and mud bottoms at night.

Depth: 3-113 m.

Virginia to the Caribbean.

Note: This species was recently divided into two: adults of P. acuminatus, which is restricted to the northern part of its Greater Caribbean range have thin body stripes, while those of P. lineatus, which ranges from the Caribbean to Brazil, have dark bodies, with wide stripes.Where their ranges meet and how much they overlap is not clear at present.

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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
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Pelagic fish larvae
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 25
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 113