Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Haemulon maculicauda, Spot-tail grunt

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

dark grey
spots on scale rows form pale lines
D & A: grey
C: inner 2/3 black
scale rows above LL parallel to LL

Haemulon maculicauda (Gill, 1862)

Spot-tail grunt

Body oblong, compressed; mouth oblique, lower jaw projecting, opens at level of center of eye, lips not fleshy; underside of chin with 2 large pores, 2 pores in a deep hole, and a central groove; gill rakers 22-29 (usually 23-26); preoperculum finely serrated, without spines; dorsal fin continuous, with small to moderate notch in middle, XII-XIV, 15-18 (usually XIII, 15-16); anal rays III, 8-11; tail forked; soft dorsal and anal densely scaled nearly to the edge of the fin; lateral-line scales 50-52; scales above the lateral line in lines parallel to body axis.

Grey; scale centers white, forming narrow white, longitudinally oriented stripes on side; basal half of tail fin blackish; red inside mouth; juveniles with dark midlateral stripe and spot at base of caudal fin.

Size: to 30 cm.

Habitat: forms large aggregations on coral or rocky reefs.

Depth: 1-33 m.

Southern Baja and the Gulf of California to Ecuador and Malpelo, strays to the Galapagos.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 33