Haemulon aurolineatum

Common Name

Tomtate Grunt

Year Described

Cuvier, 1830


Dorsal Fin: XIII, 14-16 (usually 15)
Anal Fin: III, 7-9
Gill Rakers: 24-28 (total on first arch)
Lateral Line Scales: 50-52

Soft dorsal and anal fins almost completely scaled. Scale rows under lateral line parallel to body axis.


Body and head whitish to silvery (scale centers brighter). Two obvious yellow stripes: one running from snout to the caudal fin base and the other running along the dorsum from the top of head to the upper caudal peduncle. There are several additional yellow stripes that are much thinner and less obvious. An eye-sized black blotch at the base of the tail. All fins are pale yellowish.


Common to 16cm TL. Maximum size to 25cm TL.


A coastal species found over sandy bottoms and patch reefs (<40m). Forms large schools close to the bottom.


Virginia to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Also Bermuda.


Lindeman, K.C. 2002. Haemulidae (pp. 1522-1550). In: Carpenter. 2002. The living marine resources of the Western Central Atlantic. Vol. 3: Bony fishes part 2 (Opistognathidae to Molidae). FAO Species Identification Guides for Fisheries Purposes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Special Publication No. 5. FAO of the U.N., Rome.