| Ecological Descriptors
||Wor, Cru, Mol
(C) Dr P Ryan/ RyanPhotographic
Torpediform body is pale tan with a distinctive yellow stripe from the eye to the tail. Tail also yellow. Upper body may have shadings ranging from blue to olive or red. Fins, other than the tail, may be white or yellowish. Two barbels under the tip of the chin.
Found over sandy areas of lagoons and seaward reefs, seagrass beds, sedimentary rocks, sand, and brown algae. Down to 50 m. Often in schools. It uses 2 long barbels equipped with chemoreceptors to feed in large schools over sand on polychaete worms, clams, puncluids, isopods, amphipods and other crustaceans. It tends to form groups near reefs when not feeding. It forms heterotypic schools with Haemulon spp. as well as wrasses, surgeonfishes and other common reef species. When they do not use the barbels, they are hidden in a groove. Feeding on benthic invertebrates.
Juveniles common in seagrass beds
First maturity for males occurs at 18.5 cm (118g) and females at or before 17.5 cm (90g) with full maturity attained within one centimeter of these measurements. Males are usually larger and tend to be more abundant then females which suggests sexual dimorphism in relative or absolute growth rates or mortality rates. Males have a slower growth rate than females. Spawning primarily takes place from March to April and then September to October.