Anthias woodsi

Common Name

Swallowtail Bass

Year Described

Anderson & Heemstra, 1980


Dorsal Fin: X, 14-15
Anal Fin: III, 7-8
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Pectoral Fin: 18
Lateral Line Scales: 42-48
Gill Rakers: 11-12 in upper, 26-28 in lower limb of first arch; 38-40 total

Moderately deep body, head 36-40% SL, and eye large (11-14% SL). Orbit longer than snout. Upper and lower jaws both with teeth, including larger canines. Vomerine patch chevron-shaped, without posterior extension. Anterior nostril with a small flap. Most of head, and maxilla, covered in scales. Lateral line continuous. Scales around caudal peduncle 21-24. No notch at boundary of spiny and soft dorsal fin. Fleshy tabs not present on dorsal fin spines. Filaments often present on soft dorsal fin. Caudal fin deeply forked, often highly filamentous (40-110% SL). Pelvic fin often enlarged (27-41% SL).


Body bright rosy red to salmon-pink, slightly paler ventrally. There is an irregular yellow stripe from the posterior margin of the eye to the tail, tapering posteriorly and blending into the upper caudal margin. Each side of the yellow stripe is bordered by a magenta pink stripe separating the yellow from the body color. The pelvic and anal fins are mostly body colored with yellow on the anterior margins/pelvic filaments. The dorsal fin is yellow with rosy red basal pigment. The caudal fin is body colored with bright yellow dorsal and ventral margins and filaments. Eye with a bright blue to purple outer margin and a white inner margin around pupil.


Maximum size to 25cm.


Deep reefs and hard bottoms from 175-475m.


SE U.S. from North Carolina to the Florida Keys.


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.