Anthias nicholsi

Common Name

Yellowfin Bass

Year Described

Firth, 1933


Dorsal Fin: X, 14-15
Anal Fin: III, 6-8
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Pectoral Fin: 18-21
Lateral Line Scales: 31-34
Gill Rakers: 12-13 in upper, 27-31 in lower limb of first arch; 39-44 total

Moderately deep body, head 34-39% SL, and eye large (9-13% SL). Orbit longer than snout. Upper and lower jaws both with teeth, including larger canines. Vomerine patch chevron-shaped to triangular with or without a convex posterior extension. Anterior nostril with a small flap. Most of head, and maxilla, covered in scales. Lateral line continuous. Scales around caudal peduncle 17-18. No notch at boundary of spiny and soft dorsal fin. Fleshy tabs not present on dorsal fin spines. Caudal fin deeply forked without filaments. Pelvic fin enlarged (to >46% SL in large specimens).


Bright rosy red above grading to paler silvery below. Scale edges are bright yellow on body. Two bright yellow stripes on head: one from posterior margin of eye to the upper opercular edge and another passing from the snout, under the eye, and ending at the pectoral base. A third yellow stripe ventrally on the head blending into yellow pelvic fin. Dorsal and anal fins yellow with rosy red markings. Caudal fin pink and yellow. Pectoral fin pinkish. Eye with a bright blue outer margin grading into pink, with yellow nearest the pupil.


Common to 15cm. Maximum size to 20cm.


Common in deep reef habitats from 55-430m. It is normally found in schools over hard structure like rocky reefs and Oculina beds. This species is a plankton feeder. A protogynous hermaphrodite.


Widely distributed from Nova Scotia to the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Also the western Caribbean and northern South America


Anderson, W. D., Jr. & Heemstra, P. C. 2012. Review of Atlantic and eastern Pacific anthiine fishes (Teleostei: Perciformes: Serranidae), with descriptions of two new genera. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 102 (2): 1-173.

Heemstra, P.C., Anderson, W.D. Jr., and P.S. Lobel. 2002. Serranidae. In: FAO Species Identification Guide to Fishes of the Western Atlantic. (ed. Carpenter K), pp. 1308–1369. UN FAO Publishers, Rome.