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Species: Peprilus burti, Gulf Butterfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body depth < 40 % SL
no spots
17-25 large pores under front D
D & A front short, angular
top teeth 3-points
Gulf Mexico

Peprilus burti Fowler, 1944

Gulf Butterfish

Body highly compressed, an elongate oval, depth < 40% SL; eye with a fatty ring around it; snout short; mouth small, oblique, ends before or under front of eye; jaw teeth compressed, upper teeth 3-pointed, in 1 row, no teeth on roof of mouth; dorsal and anal fins long based, with II-IV small, flattened, leaf-like spines, front lobes elevated, but short and triangular; no pelvic fins, but a small spine projecting from pelvis; pectoral fins long and pointed; tail fin deeply forked, stiff; scales very small, smooth, very easily shed; dorsal and anal fins covered with scales; lateral line high, follows upper body profile, almost complete; a conspicuous series of 17-25 pores along front half of body under dorsal fin.

Pale blue above, silvery below; no spots.

Size: grows to 25 cm.

Habitat: pelagic, forms large schools over sand and mud bottoms.

Depth: 0-275 m, most common between 155-225 m.

The Gulf of Mexico.

Note: very similar to P. triacanthus

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Near Surface
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Water column
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Pelagic jellyfish/ctenophores
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
  • Gulf of Mexico endemic
  • 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
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 275