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Haemulidae (Grunts)

Species Currently in the DFL

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Anisotremus davidsonii
Xantic Sargo
Haemulon flavolineatum
French Grunt
About This Family
Circumtropical marine; also occuring in brackish water, rarely in freshwater.
Coral reefs and sandy shoals.
Grunts are small schooling fishes. They are similar in appearance to snappers, but can be distinguished by their lack of canine and vomerine teeth and their enlarged chin pores.

They swim over the reef during the daytime, but at night they move over sandy shoals to feed on benthic invertebrates such as small clams, shrimps and polychaete worms. These fishes grunt audibly when collected, earning them their common name.

Haemulid grunts are more diverse in the New World Tropics than the Old World Tropics. The family consists of two subfamilies, Haemulinae, which occur primarily in the New World, and Plectorhynchinae, which occur primarily in the Indo-West Pacific and the eastern Atlantic. Fish from the subfamily Plectorhynchinae are distinguished by their longer dorsal fin and their fat lips, often earning them the nickname "rubberlips" or "sweetlips."

This family consists of seventeen genera with about 145 species.

Helfman et al. 1997; Nelson 2006; Thomson 2000
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