Title: Annotated list of commercial food fishes found in the vicinity of Key West
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055109/00001
 Material Information
Title: Annotated list of commercial food fishes found in the vicinity of Key West
Alternate Title: Commercial food fishes found in the vicinity of Key West
Physical Description: 23 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Federal Writers' Project of the Work Projects Administration for the State of Florida
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: S.l
Publication Date: 193-?]
 Subjects
Subject: Fishes -- Identification -- Florida -- Monroe County   ( lcsh )
Fishes -- Identification -- Florida -- Key West   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Summary: Contains description and range of 82 species of food fish found in Monroe County.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: Typescript for the Federal Writers' Project.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055109
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002039420
oclc - 33258944
notis - AKM7224

Full Text






,P' OCRARY
of F-:. HISTORY
ANNOTATED LIST OF COlUMERCIAL FOOD FISHES FOUND IN THE
VICINITY OF t WESTi--

In the following annotated list of fishes an attempt
has been made to include every species found within 'the gene-
ral vicinity of Key West that is locally considered a food
fish. Some of the species mentioned are too scarce to be of
much importance, while others are not regarded very favorably,
but, nevertheless, these are included in order to make the
list as complete as possible. Other species, such as sharks,
rays, morays, and salt-water catfish, are taken but are exclu-
ded here because they are not locally regarded as food fish
All of the fishes listed are to be found within Monroe County,
which includes the tilands or keys from Key Largo south and a
small area in the southwestern part of the Florida peninsula.

1. TARPON ATLANTIOUS (Cuvier and Valenciennes). Tarpon; Silver-
fish.
The tarpon visits Key West during the winter months,
but is not as common there as along the western coast of
Florida. It is primarily a game fish and is rarely eaten.
However, it is sometimes seen in the Key West markets, where
it is sold in steaks at a low price. Because of its great
qualities the tarpon attracts many sportsmen to the State and
is directly and indirectly a source of large annual revenue to
the inhabitants. It is a very powerful fish and is caught
only with hook and line, generally by trolling, using mullet
for bait. It is most common in Florida and the West Indies.
Maximum length about 8 feet; average, about 5 feet.
Range. Isaacs Harbor and Harrigan Cove (Nova Scotia)
to Brazil.

3. ALBULA VULPES (Linnaeus) .Ladyfish; Bonefish.'

This fish is not rare among the Florida Keys and is
sometimes found in the markets. However, it is not highly
regarded as a food fish and its .commercial value is negligible.
Maximum weight, about 5 pounds; average, 14 pounds,
SRange. Tropical seas.' Generally common on our
coasts -porth to San Diego (0slif.4) and Florida. Stragglers
have been recorded as far north as Woods Hole, Mass.

*. TYLOSURUS MARINUS (Walbaum). Houndfish; Garfish; Needlefish.

The houndfish is common about Key West and other Florida
keys. It is not highly regarded as food fish and therefore is
^^ / ;"


I





.* 4



is but rarely eaten. Usually only large examples, about 3 feet
in length, are to be found in the markets. BSveral smaller
species (T. notatus and T. timucu are common, but never appear
in the markets. T. raphidoma and T. acus, each attaining a
length of 4 feet or more, are sometimes utilized for food. Al-
though unimportant in the markets, all these species are good
food fishes. On a dark and quiet night when rowing or poling
a small boat these fish are commonly stSuck while swimming at
the surface. On such occasions they rather startle one with
their vigorous splashes over the surface gradually dyihg out
in the distance, like stones skittered over a pond. Houndfish
are taken in seines and with hook and line, but they take only
a moving bait.
Range.-- T. marinus is found from Casco Bay (Me.) to
Texas, and is generally common from Chesapeake Bay southward.
The other species mentioned are common from the Florida keys
to Brazil, sometimes straying to North Caroline and northward.
T. acos is recorded from as far north as Nantucket, Mass.

$. MUGIL CUREMA Cuvier and Valencietnes. White mullet; Silver
mullet.
The silver mullet is abundant about Key West and all
the other Florida Keys, where the annual catch is nearly as
great as that of the striped mullet (M. cephalus). It is
taken with gill nets in brackish or salt water throughout the
year. It prefers protected regions in bays, rivers, and about
islands, and generally travels in schools over shallow bottoms,
stirring up the mud in a search for food. Sometimes schools
of a few hundred or a thousand fish simultaneously leave the
water with a single jump, falling back with a resounding splash.
Most of the spawning is believed to occur during May and June
along the Florida keys, but no gravid fish haze been observed.
The silver mullet is a food fish of some importance in Key West,
where jt is sold either salted or fresh. Maximnm size, about
14 indbes; average about 10 inches.
Range. Cape Cod to Brazil; Lower California to Chile.

5. MUGIL CEPHALUS Linnaeus. Mullet; Jumping mullet; Striped
mullet.
SThe striped mullet is fairly common among the Florida
keys, but is not taken in large quantities in the immediate
vicinity of Key West, The bulk of the catch is taken with
gill nets. The striped mullet is an excellent food fish, and
commercially it is the most valuable fish caught within the
State of Florida. The mullet fishery is described elsewhere
in this paper. Maximum size, 10 pounds; average size among
Florida keys, 11 pounds.
Range. -- Widely distributed. Coasts of southern Europe
! and northern Africa; Atlantic coast of Americas from Casco Bay
S(Me.) to Brazil, and in the Pacific from Monterey to Chile.
Abundant from Virginia to Texas.









6. SPHYRAENA BARRACUDA (Walbaum). Barracuda; Picuda.

The barracuda is rather common among the Florida
keys, where it is taken throughout the year, generally by tt
trolling. It is a game fish of some merit and is much sought.
after by sportsmen It is a large voracious fish, attacking
prey larger than itself, and is much feared by bathers. At
Key West it is a food fish of some importance, although its
flesh is considered inferior. It is not sold in large
quantities, but as many as 2 dozen may be seen in the market
on certain days during the winter. Maximum size, about 8
feet; average, about 4 feet.
Range. Cape Cod to Bahia, Brazil; Bermuda; Gulf
of Mexico, north to Pensacola. Generally common in the West
Indies and among the Florida keys; not common north of Florida.

7. UPENEUS MACULATUS (Bloch). Red goatfish.

The goatfish is comparatively rare along the Florida
keys, but is occasionally seen among the smaller fishes brought
in by the handline fishermen. In Porto Rico it is a food fish
of considerable importance. Maximum size, about 12 inches;
average, about 9 inches.
Range. North Carolina to the West Indies; Bermuda,
Cuba, Porto Rico, and Martinique. Rare norhi of Key West.

8. SARDA SARDA (BLoch). Bonito.

The monito is taken as a straggler along with the
Spanish mackerel. It is a pelagic species inhabiting the
Atlantic Ocean and is found both in Europe and in this country..
It is a food fish-of some importance, although inferior to the
mackerel. The annual catch along the Florida keys is negligible.
The smximam weight is about 15-pounds; average, 3 pounds.
Range. -- Atlantic Ocean. Found along the European
coast and on the North American coast from Casco Bay (Me.) to
Florida, or perhaps farther south; not definitely recorded
from Central or Soufth America.

9. SCOMBEROMORUS MAGULATUS (Mitchell). Spanish mackerel.

The Spanish mackerel is now the most valuable food
fish taken in the immediate vicinity of Key West. However, it
is only during recent years that large numbers have been
caught in southern Florida. It is taken from November to April
in this locality and is cansht with gill nets, purse seines,
and hook and line. It is one of the choicest food fishes taken
on the Atlantic coast. A description of the fishery is included



t k1


~ 1





9 1 .




elsewhere in this papem. Maximum size, 25 pounds, which, how-
ever, is very exceptional, as individuals weighing 10 pounds
are rare; average size of Key West fish, 2 pounds.
Range. Monhegan (Me.) to Brazil. Not common north
of Maryland. Small quantities taken in lower Chesapeake Bay
from June until October; rather common off the North Carolina
coast from May until-October; most abundant in southern Florida.
Distributed throughout the Gulf of Mexico, where its movements
are irregular. Recorded from Jamaica, Port Rico, and Panama.
In Cuba it is rare. Found also on the Pacific coast from
California southward.

10. SCOMBEROMOHUS REGALIS (Bloch). Kingfish; Cero; Spotted cero;
Sierra; Pintado.
The sierra, or kingfish, is a food fish of consider-
able importance among the Florida keys, but is somewhat less
common than S. cavalla, with which it is closely associated. It
is caught exclusively by trolling from motor or-sail boats. The
fishing season for this species extends from November to, March.
The kingfish fishery is described elsewhere in this paper. Maxi-
mum weight, about 35 pounds; average, about 5 pounds.
Range. Monomoy (Mass.) to Brazil. Uncommon north
of Florida; known from Cuba, Jamaica, Martinique, and Porto Rico.

11. SCOMBEROMORUS.CAVALLA (Cuvier). Kingfish; Cdro; Cavalla;
Sierra.
This species is taken during the same season and under
the same conditions as is the sierra (S. regalia), but because
of its larger size and somewhat greater abundance it is the
more important of the two. Considerable confusion has arisen
over bhe common names of these two species, and the terms uded
appear to be interchangeable. As a rule, however, in the Key
West markets S. regalis is known as "kingfish" or "sierra', while
S. cavalla is called'kingfish' or "cerol Maximum weight about
75 pOunds but examples over 50 pounds are comparatively rare
Notwithstanding the many large fish caught, the average weight
i is only about 7 pounds.
Range. -- Cape Cod to Africa and Brazil. Not common
north of North Carolina; found in open seas of tropical Atlantic.

12. SERIOIDA DUMERILI (Risso). Amberfish; Amber jack.

i The amber jack is caught about Key West by trolling
and is taken incidentally only during the winter along with the
kingfish. It is considered a fine game fish. Its occurrence is
irregular, and it appears never to be taken in large numbers in
this region. Severia hundred were brought to the Key West market
during one week lA nuary, 1919-, and 35 fish were seen during





the last week of Fpauary of the same year. T fish taken
near Key West generally weigh from 20 to 70 p ds. In the
markets the fish are dressed and out into steaks for the
local trade. Maximum weight, about 100 pounds; average,
about 35 pounds.
With regard to this species the following is stated
\in "Fishes of Panama," by Meek and Hildebrand, now in press:
* A study of material available in the National Museum indi-
cates that this genus is in need of revision. We have included
Seriola lalandi in our synonymy, believing it to be identical
with the present species. There is a difference in the depth
o0 body, but this appears to be only a variation among indi-
*viduals. It also seems probable that the banded forms may
yet prove to be the young of this species."
Range Cape Cod to Africa and Brazil. Not common
north of North Caroline; found in open seas of tropical At-
S1antic.
DELCAPTERUS PUNCTATUS (Agassiz). Scad;. Cigar-fish
The scad is said to be rather common the coasts of
Florida, but its appearance inthe Key'West markets is only
,.occasional. The annual catch does not exceed a few hundred
:ifounds. The maximum size is not definitely known, but pro-
bably does not exceed 2 pounds, with an average of one-half
i.pound.
Range Woods Hole (Mass) to Brazil. Common in
Bermuda and West Indies; small fish someti es rather common
f'about Woods Hole, Mass., and Long Island, N.Y.
B'SELAR CRUMENOPTHALMUS (Blotcho. Big-eyed scad.
This fish is not common in the Key West markets.
.It is taken from time to time bythe hook-and-line fishermen
and is considered a fair food fish. Maximum weight, about
S8 pounds; average, 1 pound.
Range Both coasts of tropical America and in
ropical seas generally; on the Atlantic coast it is extre-
ely rare north of southern Florida.
ARANX BARTHOLOMAEI (Cuvier and Val&noiennes). Yellow jack.

h This species is less abundant than the several
their species of "jacks" commonly seen in the fish markets
t Key West. It is common in the West Indies. The maxi-
wieaht is not definitely known, but it probably does
0t exceed 3 pounds; average, one-half pound.
Range Usual range Florida to West Indies and
rnama. Known from Porto Rico, but not common there; cor-
on in Cuba; rare north of Florida, but sometimes straying
o Woods Hole, Mass.
ARANI HIPPOS (Linnaeus). Jack; Runner; Crevalle.
This species is the most abundant of the various
Species of "jacks" or 'runners" that areffound about Key
lest. It is a good food fish and commands a ready sale in
the markets. Fish weighing 5 tol6 pounds are not rare. It


-i





is taken by bottom fishing or by trolling and worthy of
mention as a game fish. It is found throughout the year,
but is most common during the winter. Its maximum weight is
20 pounds, but it seldom weighs more than 10 pounds, and its
average is 1 pound.
Range Both coasts of tropical America, north to
Lynn, Mass., and Lower California; East Indles.
CARANX CRYS08 (Mitchill). Hard-tail; Jurel; Runner; Jack;
Crevalle.
This species is taken throughout the year about Key
West underr the same conditions as is 0. hippos. it is a
food fish of importance locally but is smaller in size than
0. hippos. Large numbers of half-pounds fish are commonly
found in the lived cars about the fish wharves. Maximun
weight, about 3 pounds; average one-half pound.
Range Ipswitch Bay (Mass.) to Brazil. Common
south of Maryland, entering lower Chesapeake Bay, where it
rarely takes the hook but is rather vommnon in poundAnet
catches.
CARANX LATUS (Agassiz) Horse-eye jack; Jurel; Runner.
This species is less common about Key West than C.
hippos or C. crysas. It is taken in small numbers by troll-
ing, and sometimes a. small school is captured in a Spanish-
mackerel net. As a food fish it is not ashighly regarded as
the other species of Caranx. The maximun side is not known,
but the average is not over one-half pound at Key West.
Range Virginia to Brazil.

VOMER SETIPINNIS (Mitchill). Moonfish.
This little fish is caught very infrequently and
only during the winter. It is taken on the bottom with hook
and line and is esteemed as a food fish. The maximum weight
is about 1 pound,and the average is one-third of a pound.
o Range Halivax (NovA Scotia) to Uruguay; not com-
Saon north of Virginia. The young are common in lower Ohesa-
Speake Bay during the summer and fall.

8ELENE VOMER (Linnaeus). Moonfish; Looldown.

This species is often confused with Vomer seti-
mpinnis but may be distinguished from the latter at a glance
by the prolongation of the first rays of the dorsal and anal
fins. Around Key West it is somewhat more plentiful than
Vomer. It is taken oheifly in the winter and is highly
Esteemed as a food fish. The annual catch is very small.
Maximum weight, about 2 pounds; average, one-half pound.
H Range Oaseo Bay (Me.) to Uruguay; not common
north of Chesapeake Bay.
TRACHINOTUS GLAUOUS (Bloch). Gaif-topsail pompano.

This species is seldom taken at Key West and is
oonfdsed by fishermen with other species of pompano. It
Iay be identified by the long anterior rays of the soft
E






dorsal and anal anAy the presence of four 'blaS vertical
bars on the back and sides. It is utilized for food, but
the annual catch is negligible. Maximum weight, about 2
pounds; average one-half pound.
Range Virginia to Panama; generally common along
*east coast of Florida and i; Porto Rico.
STRAGHINOTUS FALOATUS (Linnaeus). Round Pompano.
This species, like T. glaucus, isseldom seen in
the Key West markets. The few fish caught are called "pom-
panbo and re utilized for food. Maximum weight about 3
Pounds; average, one-half pound.
Range Woods Hole (Mass.) to Brasil. Adults not
common north of Florida; young 1 to 2 inches long, taken in
southern Massachusetts and lower Chesapeake Bay, whence they
are transported by the Gulf Stream. Rather common in Ber-
muda.
TRACHIETTUS GOODEI Jordan and Evermann. Great pompano; Permit.
The great pompano is taken with hook and line near
ey West during the winter. The annual catch, however, is
small. It is a fair food fish, but inferior to the common
Pompano (T.carolinus). Maximum weight, about 40 pounds;
Average, 8 pounds.
Range Usual range North Caroline to West Indies;
rare north of Florida. The young (about 3 inches long)
have been recorded from Woods Hole, Mass.
eTRACHINOTUS CAROLINUS (Linnaeus) Common pompano.
This species is the most valuable of the pompanos
and is considered one of the choicest of all salt-water
ishes. About Key West it is taken in small unmbers during
he winter, but the annui catch is small. It is imore
long-both coasts of Florida, preferring sandy bottom, where
t feeds near shore onsmall mollusks and crustaceans. At
ey West it is taken with hook and line and, incidentally,
Ln mullet seines. It always commands a high price and is
lesteemed for its rich flavor in all parts of its range.
maximum weight, 8 pounds; average, 1 pounds,
Range Woods Hole, Mass., along the South At-
antio coast and Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. Not common north
Chesapeake Bya, in the West,Indies, or Brazil.
TOMUS 8ALTATRIX (Linneaus) Bluefish
The bluefish is taken along the loXida keys -nly
ing the winter generally between December 15 and Web-
SSry 15. A few are caught by trolling, but the greater part
Athe catch is taken along with the Spanish mackerel in gill
t or purse seines. During the past 10 years the annrial
atoh is shipped to New York, where it commands a high price
ro fresh bluefish are scarce in northern markets during the
inter. The bluefish is one of the best American Foot fishes
tA amximin weight is given as 27 pounds, but examples
ighing more than 12 pounds are uncommon The usual weight
tf the Key West fish is between 2 and 4 pounds, while I
pounds is about the maximta.
-4-





Range e distribution; Atlantic Wd Indian
Oceans; occasionally enters the Mediterranean ea; Malay
Archipelago; Australia; Cape of Good Hope-; Natal; Madagas-
car. Not recorded from tne Atlantic coast of Europe or rom
Bermuda. On our coast it has been recorded as far north as
Mount Desert, Me.
RACHYCENTRON CANADUS (Linnaeus) Sergeant fish; Grab-eater
Blaek bonito.

This species is rarely caught along the Florida
keys. It is a good food fish and has some commercial import-
ance in the West Indies and along our Middle and South At-
lantic States. It is taken with hook and line on rooky
bottom, generally in 40 to 80 feet of water. In Chesapeake
Bay, where it. is called "black bonito", it is caught in small
numbers from May until October, but it is most abundant during
June. The largest fish recorded weighed 84 pounds and was
taken in Chesapeake Bay during June, 19S1. The average
weight is about 10 pounds.
Range New Jersey to Brazil; East Indies.

CENTROPOMUS UNDEOIMALIS (Blotch) Snook; Rabalo; Sergeant fish.
The snook is rarely taken in the immediate vioi-
nity of Key West, but is common on the southwest coast of
Florida, where it is one of the principal game fish taken
during the winter. There it is taken by trolling, close to
shore, from a rowboat that is operated as noislessly a pos-
sible. At Fort Meyers and Marco large snook are frequently
seen swimming within a few feet of the shore. It ascends
streams but does not stray far from brackish water. The
anook is rather uncommon among the Florida keys and is too
scarce in the Key West markets to be of local commercial im-
portance. It is considered a fair food fish. The maximmba
weight is about 30 pounds, while the average is about 3 po-
bunds.
Range Atlantic coast of tropical America. Re-
corded from Florida; Porto Rico; Cuba; Haiti; Jamaioa; Marti-
nique; Barbados; Vera Cruz, Mexico; Bilize, British Honduras
Toro Point, Colon, Mindi, New Gatun, and Porto Bello, Pana-
ma; British Guiana; French Guiana; and Bahia Sao Mathews,
and Rio Janeimo, Brazil (Meek and Hildebrand).
E PINEPHELU8 ADSCENSIONIS (Osbeck). Rook hind; Qabra mora.
This beautiful species is less common than most of
the other groupers found about Key West. Its habitat is
restricted to rocky bottoms in rather deep water, and it is
seldom caught on shallow reefs along with grunts and snappers.
Generally not more than half a dozen are to be seen on any
one day at the fish markets, but when a deep-water fisher-
man comes to port this fish is usually well represented in
his catch. In Key West it is esteemed as a food fish. Xaxi-
mum weight, about 15 pounds; average 2 pounds.
Range Usual range southern Florida to Brazil.
Known from Ascension and St. Helena Islands and Cape 6O Good
Hope; rare north of Miami. The young are reported from Ka-
tama Bay, Mass.

---* -- : ,~-






EPINEPHELUS STRIATUB (Blochl. Nassau grouper cherna criolla.
This grouper is one of the large and important food
fishes of Key West. It is caught on the bottom with hook
and line and is taken throughout the year. Market fish are
seldom found in water less than 30 feet in depth. Very small
examples of about 1 pound amd seldom seen, and most of the
market fish range from 3 to 35 pounds. Large fish will live
for some time in the live cars attached to the wharves. The
Nassau grouper closely resembles the red grouper (E. morio),
but it is easily separated from the latter by the presence of
Lla persistent black spot between the dorsla and upper part of
.the tail fin. Maximum weight, about 50 pounds; average, 5
Ipoundos.
Range North Caroline to Brazil; rare north of
iothe florida keys; common in Porto Rico and Bermuda.
4PINZPHELUS GUTTATU8 (Linneaus) Red hind.
This is one of the most strikingly colored of the
grouperss, the body being marked everywhere with vivid scar-
allet spots. It is fairly common among the Florida keys and
tis a valuable market species, although much less so than
1the red grouper. It is caught with hook and line at mode-
.rate depths. Maximum weight, about 5 pounds; average, 2
Pounds.
oRagge- South Carolina, Florida, Bermuda, through-
out the West Indies to Brazil.
EPINEPHILU8 MORIO (Cuvier and Valenciennes). Red grouper.
The red grouper is the most abundant and best
known of the Key Weat groupers. It is most common during
-the winter, but is taken throughout the year on rocky, cor&l,
dand grassy bottoms. This fish is widely distributed over
tthe fishinggrounds and may be taken in from 10 to 20 feet of
water along with grunts, porgies, eto., or it may be caught
on the deeper rocky reefs. The fish taken in shallow water
usually are small, weighing from one-half to 2 pounds, while
those from deeper'water generally range from 2 to 15 pounds.
|ish weighing more than 20 pounds are not common. The red
rouper bears transportation'well and is shipped north and
o Ouba. It willilive fXe long periods in lire oars and
ish wells and is one of the favorite food fishes of Key
est. Maximum weight, 40 pounds;, average, 5 pounds.
Range Massachusetts to Brazil; common in the
ulf of Mexico and at Bermuda; uncommon north of Florida,
id found only as a rare straggler north of North Carolina.
PNEPEBLU8 NIGRITUS (Holbrook). Blaok lewfish.
|h This large grouper is reported as fairly common Off
the coast of Florida, but it is rarely seen in the Key West
markets. Maximum weight, 500 pounds.
Range South Carolina to Brazil; Mediterranean
Sea.


I ( _





pROMICROPS ITAIARA*ichtenstein). Jewfish; Spted jewfish.
SThe spotted tewfish is the largest food fish caught
Sin the vicinity of Key West and is one of the largest of all
fishes. This fish is not plentiful in the Key West region ia
point of numbers, but because of the large size attained the
comparatively few fish taken are of some commercial import-
ance. During the greater part of the years 1918 and 1919
I om two to six jewfish were brought to the Key West market
each week. Spawning occurs during July and August, when
the fish become gregarious and are caught in greatest numbers.
i During six weeks of July and August, 1918,athere were brought
0to market 74 jewfish, ranging in weight from 35 to 350 pounds,
with a meanfaverage of 12 pounds. Nearly all of these were
taken off Knights Key, about 40 miles above Key West.
The jewfish is caught with hook and line on very
strong tackle. Regardless of its large size, it is placed
.in the well of the boat after capture and is brought to
market alvie. At the market the fish are transferred to com-
modious live cars, and as an extra precaution to preclude
their escape, a large-hook is placed in the mouth of each big
fish and each is securely hitched to a pile by means of a
strong line. The fish are removed from the live oars as
wanted. When the fish are dressed, the scales are shaved off
with a sharp knife, and the flesh is cut into steaks and
grips. The flesh sells for about 20 cents a pound and al-
ways finds a ready sale, the entire catch being consumed lo-
oally.
The jewfish prefers moderately deep water with
rooky or coral bottom. Small inidviduals weighing from 1
to 10 pounds, however, are frequently taken in shallow water
lose to shore. The speciesis particularly common on the
southwest coast of Florida. The largest fish of which there
is a reliable record weighed, according to a measurement
formula, 693 pounds. This fish was caught with shark
tackle on January 33, 1923, about 35 miles south of Miami, and
it was 8 feet long and 6 feet 4 inches in girth.
Range Both coasts of tropical America, north 6o
Florida and the Gulf of California.
YMTTEROPEROA VENENOSA (Linnaeus). Yellow-finned grouper;
t Yellow grouper

This grouperis uncommon about Key West and is seen
only occasionally in the fish markets, but it is somewhat
more plentiful in the Habana markets. Maximum weight, 30
pounds; average, 5 pounds.
Range North Carolina to the Bahamas; southern.
Florida, Bernuda, and the West Indies; rare north of Miami.
MTCTEROPERCA BONAOI (Poey). Black grouper.
The black grouper is rather common about the Flo-
rida keys and Key West. It is not taken in large numbers,
but its great sise makesit one of the most important market
fishes. It is generallyooaught in water more than 25 feet
in depth, but small fish are occasionally taken in shallow
water near shore. This grouper is taken throughout the year
but it is most common during February, March, and April.







The usual market fish weigh from 5 to 50 pounds; fish weigh-
ing more than 50 pounds are uncommon though nor rare. Large
or small fish oanbe kept in live oars for long periods.
Maximum weight, about 100 pounds; average, 10 pounds.
Range Usual range Florida to Brasil. The young
have been carried by the Gulf Stream as far north as Woods
Hole, Mass.
MYOTEROPERCA MICoOLEPIS (Goode and Bean) Gag
This seoies is rather common about Key West and
say be caught there throughout the year. It is generally
taken on the shallow reefs in 10 to 35 feet of water and on
rooky, coral, or grassy bottoms. When hooked, it puts up,a
somewhat better fight than do most of the other groupers. It
s a good food fish. Maximum weight, 30 pounds; average, 14
pounds. Fish weighing more than 10 pounds are rare, and
Phe weight of the market fish usually ranges from one-half to
pounds.
Range Beaufort (N. 0.1 to Florida; on the Gulf
oast to.Pensacola.


CYTEROPEROA FILCATA PHENAX


Jordan and Swain. Scamp.


This species is rather common about the Florida keys,
Although much less so than the red grouper. It is caught
with hook and line and is present in the markets throughout
most of the year. Another species (M. faloata) closely re-
sembling this one is common in the Habana markets. As a
tood fish it is well regarded and ranks higher than many of
the other groupers. Maximum weight, 10 pounds; average,
2 pounds.
Range Southern Florida.


LOBOTE8 SURINAMENSIS (Bloch).


Triple-tail.


S1 This fishis rare at Key West but occasionally is
een in the markets. A 0-pound individual was observed in
he market during January, 1919, and was oonider6d an oddity
y the fishermen, who had no name for it. The- triple-tail
* considered a good food fish, but it is not common any-
ere. A specimen 6 inches long was caught near the Bureau
f Fisheries' biological station at Key West. Maximum weight
sbout 35 pounds; average, 8 pounds.
i. Range Massachusetts south to Uruguay; taken
S mingly in lower Ohesapeake Bay pound nets, where it is
&aled strawberry bass".

TIANUS GRISEUS (Linnaeus). Gray snapper; Mangrove snapper.
r The gray snapper is the most abundant species of
1napper found at Key West. The fish always travel in schools,
generally containing from a few hundred to a thousand fish
Of various sizes, and prefer the sloping ledges of reefs
and channel ways. If not alarmed, they will hover in one
place for hours and afford a beautiful sight in the clear


7< ,


"





water. Under cerin conditions it is extreme difficult
to catch adult gray snappers with hook and line, but fish
of less than 6 inches are less wary and can be taken with-
gut difficulty. Many attempts to catch one were made by
the writer, with various lures. Pieces of bait thrown into
the water were readily taken by the larger fish, but as soon
as fishing tackle was introduced the fish looked askance at
the bait and kept their distance. A tiny hook and black
sewing thread were tried without much success. The best
snapper fishing was found to occur when the weather was
cloudy and the water not very clear.
This snapper has the peculiar habit of lying in a
few inches of water mong the roots of the mangroves, es-
pecially where the tide lows swiftly between small islands,
hence the name "mangrove snapper." The, writer has found five
or six fish within half an hour under such conditions.
The gray snapper is an abundant species but because
of its wariness is not caught in large quantities by the
fishermen. Enough are caught, however, to make it an impor-
tant market species. It is a good food fish and is taken
throughout the year. It is caught along the west coast of
Florida as far north as Bay County and is especially common
on the southwest coast. It is also found along the east
coast of Florida and as far north as Woods Hole, Mass. It
is rare above North Carolina, however. Market fish usually
range in weight from one-half to 5 pounds. Large fish we-
i ghing fully 10 pounds are often seen in the water, but fish
of this size are seldom caught. The maximum weight is said
to be 18 pounds,.
Range Usual range both coasts of Florida to the
West Indies. The young, a few inches long, have been re-
corded from North Carolina, lower Chesapeake Bay lNew Jersey,
Rhode Island, and Woods Hole, Mass.; common in Bermuda.
LUTIANUS JOCU (Blooh and Schneider). Dog snapper
This species is rather common in the vicinity 6f
Key West, but its commercial value is relatively small.
The young are abundant about the shores of Key West and all
,of the Florida Keys. Small fish are sometimes found lying
motionless at the base of rooks close to shore. Fish of
S about one-third to one-half pound are taken on the shallow
reefs along with grunts, porgies, etc. Larger fish, weigh-
ing 3 to 6 pounds, are taken in small numbers in deeper
water. Maximum weight, 8 pounds; average, three-fourths of
a pound.
Range- Usual range Florida to Bahia, Brazil; Ber-
iuda. It ooours as a straggler north of Florida. The young
have been taken at Beaufort, N. O0 and Woods Hole, Mass.
LUTIANUS AYA (Blooh) Red snapper.

The red snapper is one of the most abundant and
valuable fish caught within the State of Florida, but nera
Key West it is comparatively scarce. At times a few are
taken in deep channels near certain of the keys. Several


i ~-..





millionn pounds are ught annually in the S t Mexico,
where the greater part of the catch is landed at Pensacola.
It is caught with hand linesin 15 to 50 fathoms of water,
ind the bait used generally consists of pieces of meat or
fish. The red snapper bears transportation well and is $
Shipped to all the important fish markets of the north. It
is considered a choice food fish. Maximum weight, 79 pounds
average, 6 pounds.
Range Woods Hole (Mass) to Brazil; Bermuda; rare
north of North Carolina; taken in commercial quantities off
Oape Fear (N. C.) gGeorgia, eastern Florida, Gulf of Mex-
co, Porto Rico, and Central America,
UTIANUS ANALIS (Cuvier and Valenciennes.) Muttonfish; Pargo
The mutton fish is one of the most important
species of snappers caught about Key West, ranking close to
b~he yellowtail (Ooyurus chrysurus). It is found throughout
the year but is scarcest during July and August, which is
ihe spawning period and at which time it schools. The
mattonfish is an excellent food fish and is always in demand.
Zt takes the baited hook freely and is quite gamey. Near
ley West it is taken on rocky or coral bottom in 3 to 9
kathoms of water, but small fish of'one-half to 2 pounds
uLae sometimes taken on the shallow reefs, in 2 to 4 fathoms,
along with grunts, porgies etc. The average size of deep-
water fish is about 3 pounds, but examples weighing 15 #o
80 pounds are not rare. It is reported that a 35-pound fish
was caught off the railroad pier at Key West by an angler
usin rod and reel. Maximum weight, 25 pounds; average, 3
pounds.
Range Usual range boh coasts of Florida to
Brazil. The young have been recorded from Beaufort, N.C.,
and Woods Hole, Mass.
IuTIANUS SYNAGRIS (Lihnaeus). Lane snapper; Red-tailed snapper.

The lane snapper is a beautiful and abundant fish
bout Key West. It is usually caught on rooky, coral, or
rassy bottoms in water ranging in depth from 2 to 6 fathoms.
t is found in company with various species of grunts, por-
.e8, snappers, and groupers. Although the average size is
y about one-half pound, it is rather gamey when hooked.
; is caught in greatest numbers diang the winter and spring.
ning is said to take place in Ot6ber, at which time the
ah gather in schools. Maximum weight, 4 pounds; average
pe-half pound.
Range Pensacola and Inrri River, Fla., south-
rd to Brazil; known from the Bahmas, Cuba, Martinique,
amicaa, Santo Domingo, Porto Rico, and Panama.

8 CHRYSUR88 (Bloch) Yellowtail; Rabirubia.

K; The yellowtail is perhaps the most important of all
ithe snappers fo :nd about Key West. It is one of the most
esteemed of the local fishes and is abundant throughout the
Year excepting during the winter when the cold drives it away
to deeper water. It may be caught at depth of 2 or more
fathoms, and it is especially abundant on the rocky edges of


-- -7
'V.


*_


I





the outer reefs nep Key West. This fish is iher gamey
and is caught with crawfish or sardine bait. Fish weigh-
ing 3 and 4 pounds are not uncommon; the maximum size is
6 pounds and the average 1 pound.
Range *"Usual range southern Florida to Brazil
known from Bermuda, Cuba, Martiniaue, St. Kitts, Jamaioa,
Porto Rico, and Brazil. The young are recorded from ta-
tama Bay, Mass.
HAZMULON ALBUM Cuvier and Valenciennes. Margate fish; Mar-
garet grunt.
This species is not as common aboat Key West as
Share several other grunts, but is one of the largest of the
grunts and a good food fish. It is taken in rather deep
water on rock or coral reefs. Spawning occurs during the
early summer. Its food consists oheifly of crabs, orawfihs,
worms, etc. Maximum weight, 10 pounds; average 2 pounds:
Range Southern Florida to Brazil; reported from
Bermuda, the Bahamas, Habana, Jamaica, Porto Rico, and St,
Thomas.
RAMULON MACROSTC OM Gunther. Gray grunt; Striped grunt.

This grunt is common a&ong the Florida Keys but
-because of its small size is considerably less important
than various larger species. Young fish 4 to 6 inches
Ong are sometimes abundant close to shore in shallow water.
Like all the grunts, it is caught with hook and line, and
-fish taken for market purposes are at leatt 7 inches long.
Maximum weight, 1 pound; average, one-third pound.
Range Souther* Florida to Panama; known from
Bermuda, Jamaica, St. Thomas, Porto Rico, and Panama.
NHAEMULON PARRA (Desmaresti. Sailor' choice; Grunt; Roaco
Prieto
This is a common species about Key West. It is
generally fo nd in schools close to shore in company with
the gray snapper. Apparently but few are taken offshore as
hK r as ven 1 mile. Fish 5 and 6 inches in length are very
bundant and readily take the baited hook but are too small
' o0 be of commercial importance. However, many are taken we-
lhing from one-hlaf pound to a pound, or more. Maximum
eight, 8 pounds; average, one-half pound.
Range Southern Florida to Brazil ; recorded from
ards Sound, Maroo, Lemon Bay, Bisoayne Bay, Tortugas, Ha-
.aa, Jamaica, Porto Rico, Panama, and Brazil.
AEMULON SCIURUS (Shaw). Yellow grunt; Boar grunt; Reco
amarillo
This species is perhaps the most beautiful of all
the grunts and is marked by numerous longitudinal yellow
.8tripes. It is very common about Key West, ranking next to
-.. ,:~ ~ 1,. .*


-- -


. ` ..~






-i. plumeri in abundance. It is generally caught near the
roots of mangrove trees in 6 to 15 feet of water, but some
are taken farther offshore on hard bottom. The best bait is
a long worm, which the fishermen get from the stem of a
all grass that grows on certain bars near shore. These
: podwomsl" are certain to attract yellow grunts if there
e nay in the vicinity. If the most favorable places to
ish are known, it is.possible to catch 50 to 100 fish in a
ew hours. One fisherman reports that he has caught as many
s 600 yeblow grunts in a single day. The best fishing ob-
ains during the summer. The yellow grunt is an important
ood fish in Key eest. Maximum weight, about llpound,
average, one-half pound.
Range Southern Florida to Brazil; recorded from
isoayne Bay, the Tortugas, Bermuda, Cuba, Jamaica, Pana-
Sand Bahia.
EULON PLUMIERI (Lacepede) Oompon grunt; White grunt; Ronco
This is by far the most abundant of all the grunts,
d in point of numbers it is probably not exceeded by any
their food fish in the vicinity of Key West. It is caught
th hook and line baited with crawfish or "sardines" ai 8
o 40 feet of water. It is found on bottoms of sand, marl,
oral, or rock, whichmay be open or covered with vegetation.
e best fishing, however, is found on rocky bottom. The'
omon grunt is caught all the year round but is particular-
abundant in the late summer anf tall. After spawning
during August and September), the large schools break up
d scatter but the fish are usually found in small schools
the bottom. Maximum weight, 3 pounds; average, one-
ird to one-half pound.
d Range Cape Hatteras and Pensacola to Brazil;
orded from Panama.
ON FLAVOLINEATUM (Desmarest). French grunt; Ronco
condenado.
This little grunt is not very common at Key West
is only occasionally seen in the fish wells. Maxi-
w eight, 1 pound; average, one-third pound.
: Range Bermuda, Florida Keys, Tortugas, south to
il; recorded from Paza=a.
SSTO1A RIMATOR (Jordan and Swai4). Tom-tate; Red mouth
.: 3 grunt.
The young (4 to S inches long) are abundant about
.. :~West, but fish of marketable size are uncommon and for
reason the annual catch is comparatively small. They
seen occasionally in the live cars and are sold along
h other grunts and small snappers. Spawning takes place.
-y and June. Maximum weight, about 1 pound; average,
Third pound.
Range Cape Hatteras and Pensacola, southward
ughf the West Indies to Trinidad; recorded from Panama
Bermuda.






ISOTREMUS SURINAMENSI8 (Bloc4) Black margat-fish
This is a comparatively rare species about the
orida keys and is seen only occasionally in the live oars
bout the wharves. Probably not more than 1,000 pounds are
brought to Key West annually. Maximum weight, about 20
bonds; average, 2 pounds.
Range Florida and Mobile to Brazil; kmaon from
urinam, Martinique, Porto Rico, Jamaica, Cuba and Panama.
ISOTREMUS VIBGINIOUS (Linnaeus) Prokfish 7
This brightly marked species is common about Key
est and is one of the important food fishes. From June to
ngust, when it s ols to spawn, it is found about the
hoals but soon retires to deep water. About a month after
he spawning season large numbers of young may be seen
bout the shoals. When fishing in comparatively deep water
30 to 40 feet), it is not unusual to catch fish of a pound
r a little more in weight. However, fish of one-half a
found or less comprise the bulk of the annual catch. It is
good food fish. Maximum weight, 8 pounds; average, one-
hird pound.
Rage Florida to Brazil; known from Bisoayne Bay
ato Domingo, Jamaica, Porto Rico, Martinique, Panama,
d St. Catherines Island, Brazil.
RTHOPRISTES CHRYSOPTERUS (Linnaeus.) Pigfish; Hogfish
This species is fairly common about Key West and
s taken with hook and line on shallow reefs along with
other grunts and snappers. It is an important species in
power Chesapeake Bay and along the South Atlantic coast,
here it is considered an excellent food fish. Maximum
eight, 8 pounds; average, one-half pound.
Range New Jersey to Mexico; recorded from
ermuda.
ALAMUS CALAMUS (Ouvier and Valenoiennes). Saucer-eyed poggy
This is a common species about Key West and is
6und throughout the year, but it is most abundant during
he winter. It is taken with hook and line on coral bottom
S18 to 40 feet of water. This and other species of por-
les all are important food fishes in Key West. Maximum
eight, 1 1/4 pounds; average, one-half pound.
Range Florida keys to Brazil; kawon from Ber-
uda, Martinique, Jamaoa, Cuba, Porto Rico, and Panama,

IALAMUS PRORIDENS Jordan and Gilbert. Little-head porgy
A common species in Key West and always present in
he live cars. This and other species of porgies found here
Ze sold together without respect to species. Maximum weight
pounds, average, one-half pound.
'Range Florida keys to West Indies.


"'5--S





ALAKUS BAJONADO (b oh and Sohaeider). Jolt-hDd pergy;
Ba jonado
This is the largest of the progies and because of
ts size is the most important member of the group found at
S Key West. It is found on rocky, coral, and grassy bottoms
: t a depth of 15 to 40 feet or more. Spawaing takes place
during July and August. Fishermen oatch it with hook and line
11 the year round. Maximum weight, 10 pounds; average 2
funds.
Range Southern Florida to West Indies.
ALAMUS PENNA (Cuvier and Valenoieanes). Sheepshead porgy
The sheepshead porgy is a common species and is
ost abundant in the winter. It grequetts shallow water
ear the keys. Maximum weight, 4 pounds; average, 1 pound.
Range Southern Florida to Brazil; kawon from
arlotte Harbor, St. Thomas, Habana, Panama, Gamamu, Rio
e Janeiro, and Rio Grande do Sul.
ALAMUS AROTIFRCNS Goode and Bean. Grass porgy.
This is an abundant species locally, especially in
hallow water and on grassy bottom. It is found- i company
ith other species of porgies. Maximum weight, 2 pounds;
average, one-half pound.
Range Pensacola and Biscayne Bay south to Key
est and Porto Rico; not common in the West Indies.

OEGODON RHOMBOIDES Linnaeus. Pinfish; Sailor's choice;
Bream.

This little fish is abundant a tut the shores and
harves of Key West and is one of the most common species ta-
ea with hook and line in the vicinity of the Bureau of
fisheries biological station. It is a ready biter and will
ake a hook baited with fish, spiny lobster, hermit czab,
d many other kind of bait. It is seldom caught out on
he reefs away from shore. It is a good pan fish, butt be-
ause of its small size its commertail value in Key West is
light. A fish 13 inches long, taken by the writer, is
he largest recorded. Its average size is 8 inches.
S Range Cape God to Texas; Bermuda and Cuba;
ommon in lower Ohesapeqke Bay and abundant off the Caro-
ina coast.
CHOSARGU8 UNIMACULATUS (Blooh). Brim; Bream; Salema.
This species is act common abott Key West, al-
hough a few are seen from time to time in the live cars
t the wharves. It is good food fish, but because of the
all catch its commercial value is very limited. In Porto
Rioo it is an abuadant and important food.fish. Maximum
weeight, about 2 pounds; average, one-half pouad.
Range Charleston to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; rare
Aorth of Florida Keys; reported from Oharleston, Cuba, Ja-
maica, Porto Rico, Panama and Brazil.


23
'-w.-





RCHCSARGUS PROBATO PhALUS (Walbaum), Sheepshie.
The sheepshead is nbt common in the immediate vi-
Sinity of Key West, where the annual catch is only a few
hundred pounds, but it is one of Florida's most important
ood fishes and is caught in large numbers on both coasts.
however, it is most abundant off the southwest coast along
the shores of Lee, De Soto, and Manatee Counties. At Marco
the writer caught many-sheepshead while fishing directly
from the shore. It is found chiefly about wharves, wrecks,
d mangrove roots. The greater part of its food consists o f
rabs and mollusks, which it can easily crunch with its
strong teeth. Maximum weight, 30 pounds, but individuals
over 15 pounds are comparatively rare; average weight, 3
unds.
Range Atlantic and Gulf coasts, from Cape Cod
" to -Texas; formerly rather common, but now rare north of Cape
ery, Va. In Chesapeake Bay, where it was once common, it
is now very scarce.
YSTAEMA CINEREUM (Walbaum). Broad Shad; Majarra
This small fish is t aken in limited numbers about
-the Florida keys, where it si caught with hook and line in
water 8 feet or more in depth. The annual catch is perhaps
not over a few hundred pounds. It is an excellent food fish
and in Porto Rico it is an important market fish. Maximum
weight, 2 pounds; average, one-half pound.
Range Bothcoasts of tropical America, north to
iLower California, and southern Florida.
KYPHOSUS SECTATRIX (Linnaeus) Rudder-fish; Bermuda chub.
This species is not commonly seen in the markets
of Key West, and it is found only sparingly about the keys
'throughout the year. It is known for its pecualir habit
of following vessels at sea, presumably for the waste food
thrown overboard. It is said to be a worthy game fish.
Maximum weight, 9 pounds; average, 2 pounds.
Range Cape Cod to Panama; not common n the
Carqlina coast, north of which it is a rare straggler; re-
-orded from Bermuda and Porto Rico and said to occur in the
anary Islands and rarely in the Mediterranean.
oynoscion nebulosus (Ouvier and Valenciennes). Spotted trout
Speckled trout; Spotted squeteague.
This important food fish is rarely, if ever, taken
within the immediate vicinity f Key West. It is a valuable
td abundant species on both coasts of Florida, however.
mall numbers are taken among the Florida keys, near Cape
Sable, while fishing for mullet, and it is seen in hhe Key
est markets incompany with this species. Various methods
are used in catching the spotted squeteague. In lower Che-
sapeake Bay, where it is an important food fish, it is oau-
ght in pound nets, haul seines, and set seines; in southern
Florida it is taken in mullet nets and with hook and line.
Among the Ten Thousand Islands a fisherman was observed 0






^^fishing from a :atboat with hook and lia6e attached
to a long bamboo pole. He drifted over grassy flats,
repeatedly casting with mullet bait, and succeeded
in catching many squeteagues. In St. Andresw Bay,
Fla., the writer caught mapy "speckled trout" while
trolling from a boat and using artificial lures.
The largest fish recorded weighed 1i pounds and
was taken in the Neuse River, N.C. Two 16-pound
fish were observed in Chesapeake Bay during 1922.
The average weight is about 3 pounds.
Range New York to Texas; rare north of Che-
sapeake Bay.

SCI1ENOPS OCELLATUS (Linnaeus). Redfish; Ohannel
bass; Red drum.

This species, called "redfish" in the South,
is not caught in the immediate vicinity of Key
West, but it is occasionally taken among some of
the Florida keys, and at times small numbers are
seen in the local markets. On both coasts of Flo-
rida it is a food fish of considerable value. In
traveling from one coast to the other it appears
evident that the channel bass rebounds Cape Sable
and does not stray very far south among the keys.
It is a good game fish, and large individuals are
caught by surf-casters along the New Jersey coast
and elsewhere. Maximum weight, 75 pounds, average
2 to 35 pounds.
Range Massachusetts to Texas; not common
north of Chesapeake Bay.

PAGONIAS OROMIS (Linnaeus). Black drum.

The black drum is not caught in the immediate
vicinity of Key West, but, like the red drum, is
occasionally taken among the keys. It is seldom
seen in the local markets. As a food fish it is
rather inferior, the flesh being coarse and stringy
SMaximum weight, 146 pounds; average, about 25 Ibs.
Range i Massachusetts to Texas


-- ...
* -


LACHNOLAIMU8 MAXIMUS (Walbaum).
,,j


Hogfish; Captain


The hogfish is common about Key West and is
caught the year round on rocky reefs in rather
deep water. It is a fairly good food fish, though
not choice, and is always present in the fish wells
and live cars. Then the fish ii dressed, the scales
are shaved off with a sharp knife in the same man-


'-.7


.4.


I *"
* -* rf


.. f
.*-


A-. .


_________ _~ ____~_ __~ ~_ ________ _____^_ _~___________I_






ner as with grouper and jewfish. Maximum weight, 20 pounds.
Fish weighing 10 pounds or more are not uncommon, but the
average weight is about 3 pounds. Fish weighing lesathan 1
pound are rarely seen in the markets.
Range Beaufort (N.C.) to West Indies; Bermuda; rare n
north of Florida.

70. SPARISOMA VIRIDE (Bonnaterre). Parrot-fish.

This fish is occasionally caught by hook-and-line fisher-
man and is eaten to a smalliextent locally. Very little is
known of its habits, and its value is very slight. It is a.
rich bluish-green in color. Maxiztu weight, 10 pounds; average
2 pounds.
Range Bahamas and Florida Keys to West Indies; known
from Bermudai Jamaica, Porto Rico, St. Thomas, and St. Croix.

71. SPARISOMA FLAVESCENS (Bloch and Schneider). Parrot-fish.
This parrot-fish is common in the vicinity of Key West.
It is found in shallow water, chiefly on grassy bottom. Its
color is mostly olivaceous, flushed with pink or orange. Its
flesh is soft and rather poor, but it is used to a limited extant
as food. Maximum weight, 1 pound; average weight of market fish
one-half pound.
Range Southern Florida to Brazil; found in the Bahamas
and throughout the West Indies.,

72. PSEUDOSCARUS GUACAMAIA (Cuvier). Green parrot-fish.

Of the large parrot-fishes this is the host common species
found about Key West. In color it is mottled'or barred with brown
and blue; its teeth are green. It is not held in high esteem as
a food fish, but is eaten sparingly in Key West. Maxtmum weight,
10 pounds; average, 1 pound.
Range Florida to Rio de Jan6iro, Brazil; recorded from
St. Augustine, Habana, Porto R ico, and Panama.

73. OHAETODIPTERUS FABER (Broussonet). Spadefish; Angelfish.

The spadefish is found about Key West during most of the
year and is especially common during the summer and fall. It is
generally found close to shore in shallow water and travels in
small schools. It is frequently taken in wire crawfish traps.
After hauling arwfish traps daily for a long time and catching
no spadeftih at all the writer suddenly one day caught-18 of
the fish-in one trap, which illustrates their habit of schooling.
The young (less than 1 foot long) are marked along the sides with
six prominent black vertical bands darker and the.bands are less
conspicuous. As a food fish it is held in high esteem, but the
annual catch at Key West is not large. Maximum weight, 20 pounds;
average, three-fourths pound. 'In Chesapeake Bay, where this fish
is known as "porgee" and where small numbers are taken from spring
until fall, they generally weigh between 3 and 12 pounds.

^________________






Range Cape Cod to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; rare north
of Chesapeake Bay; known from Cuba, Santo Domingo, Jamaica,
!Martinique, Porto Rico, and Panama.

74. POMACANTHUS ARCUATUS (Linnaeus). Black angelfish.
This beautiful species ismather common about Key West.
It is found throughout the year but is nottaken in large numbers.
By visiting the markets a few may be seen at almost any time
among the many species of fish held in the live cars. It is cau-
ght in wire crawfish traps and with hook and line. It is a food
fish of some importance locally. Maximum weight, 6 pounds;
average, 11 pounds.
Range New Jersey to Bahia, Brazil; comparatively rare
north of Florida; known from Tortugas, cuba, Jamaica, Porto Rico,
and Martinique.

75. ANGELICHTHYS ISABELITA Jordan and Rutter. Yellow angel;
Blue angel.

The yellow angel is very similar to the black angel(Pomo-
canthus arcuatus). in size, local abundance, and food qualities.
It is taken in wire crawfish traps or wth hook and line. Maximum
weight, 6 pounds; average, 1l pounds.
Range Florida Keys to Brazil; known from Tortugas, Baamas,
Cuba, Jamaica, Lesser Antilles, and Bahia.

76. HEPATUS COERULEUS (BLoch and Schneider). Blue-tang.

The blue tang is a.very beautiful fish and is. fairly comm-
on about Key West. It is generally taken in water from 15 to 35
feet in depth on grassy or rooky bottom. It is caught with hook
and line or in crawfish traps, and is used for food purposes,
but the annual catch is small. Maximun weight, :l pounds; average
one half pound.
Range Usual range from the Florida Keys to Brazil; re-
corded from Bermuda, Tortugas, ~Cba, and Jamaica. The yound are
recorded from Woods Hole, Mass.

77. HEPATUS HBPATUS (Linnaeus). Tang; Doctor-fish.

This tang is rather common about Key West, where it is a
food fish of slight importance. It is taken with hook and line,
in crawfish traps and with orarfish "grains! It is the most'
abundant of the tange. Maximum weight, 2 pounds; average one-
half pound.
Range Usual range from North Carolina to Brazil; uncom-
mon north of F;prada; recorded frame Beaufort, Charleston, Tortu-
gas, Bernuda, Sabana, Jamaica, Martinique, and Bahia, The
young have been recorded as far north as Woods Hole, Mass.


-'7







78. HEPATUS BAHIANUS (Castelnau). Ocean tang.
The ocean tang is less common about Key West than is
either the common tang (H. hepitus) or the blue tang (H. coeru-
leus). It is condid red a good food fish but is seen only occas-
sionally in the locaI markets. Throughout the West Indies this
species is the most important of the tangs. azimum weight,
about 4 pounds; average, 1 pound.
Range Usual range from North Carolina to Brazil; rare
north of Florida; found throughout the West Indees tnd common
in Bermuda. The young have been recorded as far north as Woods
Hole, Mass.

79. BALISTES CAROLINENSIS Gmelin. Turbot; Trigger-fish; Leather-
jacket.

The turbot is common about Key West, where it is caught
with hook and line throughout the year. It is nearly alwayss
present in the live cars about the wharves, and is a food fish
of importance locally. Maximum weight, 2 pounds; average, I
pound.
Range Banquereau Bank off Canso (Nova Scotia) to West
Indies; also found in Bermuda and the Mediterranean Sea; uncommon
north of Florida; recorede from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New
Jersey, Chesapeake Bay, and North Carolina.

80. BALISTES ETULA Linnaeus. Turbot; Trigger-fish.

This species is fairly common at Key West, although some-
what less so than B. carolinensis, with which it is closely ass-
ociated. Locally it is a food fish of some importance. The
maximum size is not definitely known but is believed to be 3 or 3
pounds; average 1 pound.
Range Usual range from Flordia to West Indies; known
from Bermuda, Bahamas, Jamaica, Ascension Island, and Porto Rico.
The young have been recorded from Nantucket and Woods Hole, Mass.

81. LACTOPHRY8 TRIQUETER (Linnaeus). Trunkfish.

This species is less common in the vicinity of Key.West
than either L. trigonus or L. tricornis. All three species are
esteemed alike for food. Maximum size, 12 inches; average, 9
inches.4
Range Usual range from North Oarqlina to Brazil; Pensa-
cola; rare north of Florida; known from Bernuda and Porto Rico,
where it iS common. The young have been recorded from Katama
Bay, Mass.


4t% 4l






82.: LACTOPHRYS TRIGONUS (Linnaeus). Trunkfish.
is t This trunkfish is comparatively common about Key West and
is taken throughout the year, hook and line fishermen catching this
species while fishing for grunts, porgies, and other small fishes.
It is sometimes found very close to a shore amid sponges and other
Bottom growths. Whtle using a 100 yard collecting seine near the
island of Key West, about 15 adults of this species .id i. tricornis
were taken inone haul. It is a good food fish and is esteemed
locally. Maximum size, 18 inches; average, 10 inches.
SRange Usual range from North Carolina to Brazil; rare north
Sof Florida. The very young, about 1 inch long, have been taken at
Woods Hole, Mass.

S83. LACTOPHRYS TRICORNIS (Linnaeus). Trunkfish; Cowfish,
This species, sometimes called cowfish because of the two
horn-like spines extending from the head, is about equally as con-
mon as L. trigonus, with which it is closely associated, and its
habits and food qualities are very similar to the latter species.
Maximum size, about 15 inches; average, 9 inches.
SRange Usual range from Florida to Brazil and eastward to
the Cape of Good Hope; recorded from Jamaica, Porto Rico, and
Panama. The young have been taken in Katama Bay, Mass.




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs