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Species: Nesiarchus nasutus, Black Gemfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body depth ~10% SL
tip both jaws: conical skin knob
1 LL
pelvics I, 5, < pectorals
D & A: 2 rear finlets
skin smooth

Nesiarchus nasutus Johnson, 1862

Black Gemfish

Body fairly elongate, slender, compressed, depth 8-10% SL; head ~23% SL; operculum with 2 flat spines; lower jaw strong projecting; a large conical skin knob at tip of both jaws; top jaws with 0-3 pairs of fangs at front, lower jaws I pair; dorsal fin low, XIX-XXI (long-based) + II, 19-24 (short based); anal fin a little shorter than 2nd dorsal, II, 18-21; dorsal and anal fins with 2 finlets behind each in adults; pectorals short, 12-14; pelvics tiny, shorter than pectorals, I, 5: tail base without keel; lateral line single, slopes down gradually to mid-side; skin smooth, scales small, no tubercles, no belly keel.

Head and body dark brown, with violet tint; fins black.

Reaches 145 cm.


Depth: 200-1459 m; migrate to midwater at night.

Worldwide in temperate to tropical seas, Bermuda to northern Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • In & Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Offshore
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
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Pelagic crustacea
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 145
Depth Range Min
  • 200
Depth Range Max
  • 1459