Orthopristis chrysoptera

Common Name


Year Described

Linnaeus, 1766


Dorsal Fin: XII-XIII, 15-16
Anal Fin: III, 12-13
Gill Rakers: 12 (lower limb of first arch)
Lateral Line Scales: 53-58

Body moderately elongate with a slightly convex forehead profile. Mouth small. Preopercle finely serrate. Dorsal and anal fins with scales on spiny portion but no scales on soft portion. There are 10 scale rows above the lateral line at the first dorsal spine and 15-19 below it.


Body silvery to blue-gray, with a dense covering of yellowish to bronze spots on the body and head forming oblique spot-stripes. Often displays indistinct body bars and/or two dark lateral stripes (one on mid-body and another on dorsum). Pelvic and anal fins are yellowish with darker margins. Dorsal and caudal fins colored as body, with darker margins.


Maximum size to 40cm TL.


Coastal waters and estuaries, usually over soft bottoms. Tolerates low salinities.


New York to the Yucatan Peninsula. Also Cuba and 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.

Other Notes

Orthopristis poeyi (Scudder, 1868) from Cuba is considered a junior synonym.