Haemulon plumierii

Common Name

White Grunt

Year Described

Lacep├Ęde, 1801

Identification

Dorsal Fin: XII, 15-17 (usually 16)
Anal Fin: III, 8-9 (usually 9)
Gill Rakers: 21-27 (total on first arch)
Lateral Line Scales: 48-51

Soft dorsal and anal fins almost completely scaled. Scale rows under lateral line oblique to body axis. Scales above lateral line larger than those under it on anterior part of trunk.

Color

Body silvery to pale blue basally. The head is marked with alternating yellow and blue stripes of equal width. Body above lateral line with a checkerboard pattern of silvery-blue and brassy yellow markings, forming oblique spot-bands. Below the lateral line, the alternating blue and brassy yellow bands become more horizontal or slightly oblique. The extent and intensity of the yellow pigment varies. The fins are pale yellowish to dusky. The tail often is darker basally with a pale posterior margin.

Size

Common to 30cm TL. Maximum size to 45cm TL.

Habitat

Over soft and hard bottoms, including coral reefs (to over 40m). Often forms large schools near the bottom.

Range

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

References

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.