Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Pareques acuminatus, High-hat drum, the Highhat

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

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)


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 Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Rocks
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Corals
  • Sand & gravel
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Pelagic fish larvae
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Data
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Extends North of GC
  • Island (s)
  • Extends South of GC
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continent
  • Also in Brazil
  • All species..
  • GC non-endemic
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • 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
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 113
Length Max
  • 25