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Species: Parascombrops spinosus, Keelcheek Bass

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body depth 26-33% SL
pelvic spine & 2nd spines of D1 & A serrated
D: IX + 1, 8-9; 2 parts separate
gill rakers 17-20
preopercle toothed, + 2-3 keels
A II, 7
LL 29-31

Parascombrops spinosus (Schultz, 1940)

Keelcheek Bass

Body elongate, tapering, body depth 26-33% of SL, depth distinctly < head length; snout very short; eye huge; broad and flat between eyes; mouth large, bone of top jaw expanded at rear & largely exposed when mouth is closed, ends ~under mid-eye; top jaws with 1 pair of canines at front, then bands of simple teeth, lower jaw with 1-2 pairs of canines at front, then simple teeth, also with canines at sides; preopercle with strong teeth, 2-3 small keels at lower rear edge; rear of opercle with 1-2 flat points; gill membranes separate, free from underside of head; gill rakers: 11-16 lower, total 17-20; dorsal fin IX + I, 8-9, a distinct gap between the 2 sections; anal fin II, 7 rays; front edge serrated on 1st pelvic spine, and on 2nd spine of 1st dorsal and anal fins; tail fin forked; pectorals longer than pelvics; scales large, smooth, easily shed; scales on cheeks, operculum with or without scales; lateral line continuous, with 29-31 tubed scales.

Brownish grey; upper scales on body with dark rear edges; outer membrane of 1st dorsal fin black; gill cavity black.

Reaches 16.5 cm.

Near and above the bottom in deep water.

Depth range: 75-825 m.

W Atlantic; N Carolina to Suriname.

Note: records from the W Pacific likely represent another species.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Water column
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • 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
Length Max
  • 16.5
Depth Range Min
  • 75
Depth Range Max
  • 825