Gramma loreto

Common Name

Royal Gramma

Year Described

Poey, 1868


Dorsal Fin: XI-XIII, 9-11
Anal Fin: III, 9-10
Pectoral Fin: 14-17
Caudal Fin: 17-18 (principal)
Vertebrae: 10 precaudal, 17-18 caudal; 27-28 total
Gill Rakers: 18-22 in lower limb

Elongate with large eye. Jaw extends to posterior margin of orbit. First dorsal spine similar in size to second. Pelvic fin very long, reaches beyond anal fin orgin. Lateral line with two parts: the anterior portion on upper body and ending at last dorsal ray and the posterior portion on middle of caudal peduncle reaching anteriorly to middle of soft dorsal. Preopercle serrated. Procurrent caudal rays not thickened. Caudal fin emarginate to forked.


Anterior of body purple to magenta (varies from slightly past head to well past mid-body), grading into bright yellow on the posterior part of body and tail. Center of scales in contact area with yellow centers and purple edges, often looking orange. A bronze to yellow stripe passes through eye, and another under eye. Purple and yellow coloration extends onto dorsal fin with a purple line extending posteriorly along dorsal submargin. A dark spot on the anterior dorsal fin, covering spines 2 and 3. Anal fin yellow with submarginal purple line. Purple pelvic fins.


Maximum size to 8cm.


Coral reefs, usually in deeper water, to 60m. Often swims upside down in caves.


Bermuda, the Florida Keys, and the Caribbean Sea.


Hardy, J.D. 2005. Chapter 121: Grammatidae, p. 1341-1351. In: Richards, W.J. (Ed.). Early Stages of Atlantic Fishes: An Identification Guide for the Western Central North Atlantic. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.

Mooi, R.D. 2002. Grammatidae. In: FAO Species Identification Guide to Fishes of the Western Atlantic. (ed. Carpenter K), pp. 1308–1369. UN FAO Publishers, Rome.