- Common Name
- Atlantic spadefish
- Genus Species
- Chaetodipterus faber
- Silver disc-shaped body with black bars and black forward edge to the single dorsal and anal fins. Dorsal and anal fins begin a body mid-point - forming roughly equal triangular structures. Solid (truncate) caudal fin is prominently flanked by dorsal and anal fins. If stood on their caudal fin, their overall body shape is reflective of the spade found within a typical deck of playing cards – hence their common name.
- 30.5 to 45.7 cm (1 to 1.5 ft); 91 cm (3 ft) max
- 9.0 kg (19.8 lbs.) max
- Cnidarians, annelids, mollusks, crustaceans, and plankton
- Eggs develop relatively rapidly, exhibiting an incubation period of approximately 24 hours
- Life Span
- 5 years (average);19 years (max.)
- Western Atlantic: Massachusetts to Gulf of Mexico and southeastern Brazil
- 3 to 35 meters in tropical & sub-tropical open and coastal marine and brackish waters
- Global: No data
- IUCN: Not listed
CITES: Not listed
USFWS: Not listed
- In an attempt to camouflage themselves, darkly colored juvenile spadefish will often drift, leaf-like, in estuarine and coastal marine waters.
- Adults may congregate in large schools - consisting of up to 500 individuals.
- Atlantic spadefish will congregate around a variety of environmental super-structures – including reef systems, sunken vessels and debris, and oil derricks.
- For more information about bony fishes, explore the Bony Fishes InfoBook.
Ecology and Conservation
Spadefish will target planktonic prey items (including jellyfish and copepods) as well as benthic prey items (including hydroids, sponges, ascidians, anthozoans, and polychaetes). They, in turn, are prey items for finfish, sharks, and rays.
Bond, Carl E. Biology of Fishes - Second Edition. Saunders College Publishing, 1996.
Humann, Paul. Reef Fish Identification - Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. New World Publications, Inc., 1992.