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Haemulidae (some sources cite Pomadasyidae)
Silver to light yellow tapered body with yellow stripes along entire length. Fins and forehead are solid yellow. Two black bars run along head - one through the eye and the other along the edge of the gill plate. Centrally cleft (forked) caudal fin. Juvenile form exhibits a white body with a yellow snout, forehead, and forward portion of dorsal fin. Two black stripes run the length of the body. Black spot is found at caudal peduncle.
15.2-25.4 cm (6-10 in) avg; 40.6 cm (16.0 in) max
930 g (2.1 lbs) max
Annelids, mollusks, crustaceans, and echinoderms
Western Atlantic: Bermuda and Florida to Brazil, including Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean
10-60 feet in tropical & sub-tropical coastal marine waters
Recent NOAA studies conducted in the waters adjacent to the Florida Keys found that porkfish were the eleventh most commonly sighted species within the region.
The Atlantic porkfish is the only Caribbean grunt with two black vertical bars and yellow stripes.
Porkfish are primarily nocturnal predators, targeting benthic prey items.
Juvenile porkfish are observed symbiotically feeding on parasites found on other fish species.
Porkfish, like all grunts, produce grunt-like sounds via their pharyngeal teeth and swim bladder. These sounds seem to be particularly associated with situations of duress.
For more information about bony fishes, explore the
Bony Fishes InfoBook
ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION
Porkfish, like other reef inhabitants, are susceptible to habitat loss.
Juvenile porkfish are occasionally found in mangrove environments.
Both reef and mangrove environments are areas which have (globally) been exposed to various environmental pressures. Degradation or collapse of local and/or global systems could have a serious impact on porkfish populations. Accordingly, habitat-wide management systems - such as are exhibited with the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary - are more likely to provide positive, long-term sustainability (as concerns porkfish and associated marine species populations) versus impacted systems devoid of any consistent resource management plan.
Bond, Carl E.
Biology of Fishes - Second Edition
. Saunders College Publishing, 1996.
Reef Fish Identification - Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas
. New World Publications, Inc., 1992.