Florida Sportfishing Species
Description: Body color light bluish-gray, head with horizontal blue stripes, white underbelly; black blotch on preopercle; margin of each scale bronze; large bright orange mouth; scales above lateral line larger than scales below lateral line.
Similar Fish: Other grunts.
Where found: From shore to the outer reef edge or on offshore hard bottom to 115 feet; most abundant in water less than 80 feet deep; juveniles inshore.
Size: Most catches 1.5 pounds (15 inches).
Remarks: Audible grunting is produced by grinding of the pharyngeal teeth, with air bladder acting as amplifyer; spawning occurs on offshore hard bottoms or reefs from May through June; feeds on crustaceans, mollusks and small fishes.
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