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Florida Manatee & Aquatic Center Animal Fact Sheet
PORKFISH
Anisotremus virginicus

Range:
Western Atlantic: from Florida through the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The Bahamas and the waters off Bermuda.

The Porkfish has a deep body, a blunt snout, and thick lips. It maintains a higher dorsal profile than most grunts. The caudal fin is notched. The Porkfish mouth is small and low on the head. Their bodies and fins are primarily yellow. They have vertical silvery-blue stripes and two horizontal black bars. The black bars run across the eye of the fish and near the anterior edge of the dorsal fin. Juvenile Porkfish differ in that they do not have black bars. They have a large black dot near the base of the caudal fin and two black stripes running horizontally through the body.
Like other fish, what have been called grunts, the Porkfish can make grunting sounds by grinding its teeth together.
The Porkfish is most commonly observed in schools; it has even been seen swimming with White grunt fish.

This fish is largely known as the Porkfish but has also been called the Atlantic Porkfish and paragrate grunt.




Habitat: Found over reefs and rocky bottoms in inshore waters. Usually observed feeding at night being a nocturnal fish.
Diet: Mainly eat mollusks, annelids, echinoderms, and crustaceans. Being an omnivore requires the Porkfish to eat plenty of greens as well. Juvenile Porkfish feed off of larger fish removing parasites from their body.
Status: Least Concern (IUCN)
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: Length: 12 in
Weight: 4 oz.
Lifespan: Unknown in the wild
Reproduction & Offspring:

Porkfish are eggs layers but very little is known about spawning and larval development.


 

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