virginicus; When in distress, the porkfish
makes a grunting sound by rubbing its teeth
together, hence its common name.
This fish has a silver to light-yellow tapered
body with yellow stripes along the entire length;
it is the only grunt in the Atlantic with such
coloration. Its fins and forehead are solid
yellow. Two black bars run along the head -- one
through the eye and the other along the edge of
the gill plate. Juveniles have a white body with
a yellow snout, forehead, and forward portion of
dorsal fin, with two black stripes along the
length of the body and a black spot just before
the tail. It averages 6-10 inches in length, with
a maximum length of 16 inches; maximum weight is
just over 2 pounds, with the average being less
than a pound.
Porkfish are found throughout
the western Atlantic, from Bermuda and Florida to
Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the
Caribbean Sea. They inhabit reefs and rocky
bottoms from 10 to 60 feet deep.
Adult porkfish feed on
annelids, mollusks, crustaceans, and echinoderms.
They hunt at night, usually in large schools.
Juveniles pick parasites from the skin and scales
of other fish.
genus & species Anisotremus virginicus
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