Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Haemulon atlanticus, Atlantic Latin Grunt, Latin Grunt

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silver + oblique brown lines
fins yellowish
black blotch on C base
7-9 scale rows LL to D origin

Haemulon atlanticus Carvalho et. al, 2020

Latin Grunt, Atlantic Latin Grunt

Body oblong, compressed; body depth 34-38% of SL; head blunt, its upper profile slightly convex; rear margin of bone under eye concealed by scales; mouth small to moderate, lips not fleshy; underside of chin with 2 large pores and a central groove; preoperculum finely serrated, without spines; gill rakers 22-25; dorsal fin continuous, with small to moderate notch in middle, rays XII, 15-17; anal rays III, 8-9, 2nd and 3rd spines similar; tail forked; soft dorsal and anal densely scaled nearly to the edge of the fin; scales rough; scales over entire body and head except front of snout, lips and chin; pectoral fin scaled on base only; lateral-line scales 51-52; scale rows below lateral line oblique to body axis.

Adult: silvery to silvery grey; sides with narrow oblique grey-brown lines along scale rows; a large black spot at base of caudal fin; fins yellowish. Juvenile with 3 dark stripes; 1 from above eye to end of dorsal fin base; a short stripe from top of eye back along upper operculum, a brownish-orange mid-lateral stripe with pearly-white upper and lower border from the snout, through the eye to near the end of the tail base; an elongate oval black spot with a narrow front edge at base of tail fin.

Size: attains 30 cm.

Habitat: forms schools in sandy areas adjacent to reefs.

Depth: 1-116 m.

Western Atlantic; the central W Caribbean to Brazil.

Note: This is the Atlantic sister species of the east Pacific species H steindachneri. A study by Rodrigo Moura indicates that the correct name for this species actually is H bonariense (Cuvier, 1830), and that the correct name for that species currently called H bonariense actually is H. canna (Cuvier, 1830). In addition the Caribbean and Brazilian forms show slight genetic differences.However, this name question has not been formally resolved.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Estuary
  • Mangrove
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continental primarily
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 116