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Species: Trachyscorpia cristulata, Atlantic thornyhead

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

no pit behind eyes
crest under eye: many small spines
pectoral: top point, 21-24
pectoral: top rays branch, lower rays fleshy
LL complete
preopercle: spine I longest
D XII
scales rough

Trachyscorpia cristulata (Goode & Bean, 1896)

Atlantic thornyhead

Head large (47-48% SL), snout short; head bones strong with well developed spines; no pit on top of head behind eyes; eye moderately large; sides of roof of mouth with teeth; bone under front of eye with 2 spines, 1st points  out and to rear, 2nd points to rear; longitudinal crest under & behind eye with many small spines; preopercle with 4-5 spines, 1st spine longest & with a small supplemental spine;  no slit behind last gill arch; dorsal fin XII,  9.5 (rarely 8.5); anal fin III, 5; pectoral not wedge shaped, fin bilobed with longest rays at top, 21-24, rays 2 to 10-12 branched,  lower rays fleshy in large fish; scales rough, in 57-67 vertical rows; scales on cheek, and between and behind eyes; lateral line with tubed scales, complete, extending to base of tail fin.

Head, body and fins red, head and body mottled with brown blotches and small white spots, and pale areas on top of head and on top of back.

Reaches ~55 cm.

Lives on hard bottoms

Depth range  140-2500 m.

TransAtlantic, the West Atlantic subspecies T. cristulata cristulata present from Masschusetts  to the Gulf of Mexico.

Note: The eastern Atlantic subspecies T. cristulata echinata, has a smaller head and fewer pectoral fin rays than T. cristulata cristulata.


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Salinity
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
Inshore/Offshore
  • Offshore Only
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
Habitat
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
Diet
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
Residency
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
CITES
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 55
Depth Range Min
  • 140
Depth Range Max
  • 2500