Haemulon flavolineatum belongs to the family of grunts (Haemulidae), a family of fishes consisting of 2 subfamilies in which there are 19 different genera grouping 133 different species. Also known as french grunt, this species inhabits the waters of the western Atlantic Ocean, from the coasts of South Carolina, Bahamas, Bermuda and the Gulf of Mexico, to the West Indies, the coasts of Central America and Brazil. As for the depths, it is possible to find specimens of this species up to 70 meters deep.
The body of Haemulon flavolineatum is oval in shape, laterally compressed and with a height that represents approximately one third of its length. The most common is to observe specimens of about 20 cm, although the maximum total length recorded for the species is 30 cm. The profile of the head is blunt, with the upper profile slightly convex. The mouth is small-medium sized with thick lips and narrow rows of small teeth on each jaw. On the chin we find a pair of pores joined by a groove, which act as sensory organs capable of detecting the movement of their prey. If we turn to the central part of the body, we will see that the preoperculum are slightly serrated. The dorsal fin is unique and has 12 spines and 14-15 soft rays, while the anal fin has 3 spines and 8 soft rays.
As for the shades of the body, the predominant color is silver, with yellow spots and yellow-cream belly. We note the presence of yellow oblique lines in the area of the body below the lateral line. The membranes of the dorsal spines have yellow margins, while the entire pectoral fins are yellow.
Haemulon flavolineatum is a species that is usually found in large schools of individuals in rocky areas and reefs. This grouping is not unique to adult specimens, but juveniles do the same on seagrass meadows in sheltered waters.
As for feeding, Haemulon flavolineatum takes advantage of the night hours to search the seabed for its prey, among which we find small crustaceans, molluscs and polychaetes that it locates in the sand thanks to the sensory pores of the chin, to later dig them up with the snout and ingest them.
As for the reproduction of Haemulon flavolineatum, this is little known. It is known that the eggs and larvae are pelagic.Photos: