Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Pomadasys empherus, Bigspine grunt, Large-spine grunt

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

relatively deep
soft D & A no scales
preopercle: large teeth at angle
mouth short
pectoral not to pelvic tip
A: 2nd spine very long, thick

Pomadasys empherus Bussing, 1993

Large-spine grunt, Bigspine grunt

Body high, strongly compressed; forehead profile oblique; mouth short, not reaching past front of eye, inside not red, lips thin; chin with 2 pores at front and 2 inside hole behind, plus a longitudinal groove; preopercle serrated, larger teeth at angle; dorsal fin XIII, 11-12, spinous part high, moderately notched; anal III, 7, second anal spine very long and stout, thicker than 3rd; pectoral fins relatively short, not reaching tips of depressed pelvic fins; no scales on soft dorsal and anal fins; 45-48 pored lateral line scales; 6 oblique rows of scales between lateral line and origin of dorsal fin.

Silvery, with a yellow tint; juveniles with about 5 indistinct bars on body

Size: 21 cm.

Habitat: estuaries and freshwater.

Depth: 0-20 m.

Costa Rica to Panama Bay.

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  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Near Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Freshwater
  • Water column
  • Sand & gravel
  • Mud
  • Estuary
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Data
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Continent only
  • TEP endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Panamic province endemic
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 21
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 20