An elongate, rather slender grunt with a blunt
snout and a small mouth that reaches to below front of eye. Dorsal profile
not strongly arched. Pale steel blue with 6 straight, even, and nearly equally
wide bronze-yellow stripes on side. All fins yellow except pale white pectoral
fin. No dark spot beneath edge of preopercle or at base of tail. Lining
of mouth bright red. 12 dorsal fin spines. 50 scales in lateral line; scale
rows below lateral line horizontal. TL to 9" (23 cm), Coral reefs and associated
habitats. Southern Florida, Bahamas, Antilles, and Cenrral and South American
coasts from s Gulf of Mexico to Brazil.
The smallmouth grunt is an easily recognized species
on plankton as well as small crustaceans
and mollusks. It travels
in schools, is locally abundant, and is
an excellent small food fish.
Similar Striped Grunt has 13 dorsal fin spines
and 4 dark stripes on body.
Size: 7-9 inches; max 10 inches;
Audubon Field Guide; page 510; plate 221;
Reef Fish ID 3rd ed.; page 92-93 +102; plate 93-102;
Exotic TFH; F-386.00;
Baha 458 Rod Bigelow P.O. Box 13 Chazy Lake Dannemora, N.Y. 12929