French Grunt
Haemulon flavolineatum
    Ecological Descriptors
Habitat Size (cm) Diet Behaviour Sex 
Co, R, S, M 30 Mol, Cru, Wor, Veg, Pla Sh F
Adult: Sloping head with a relatively large mouth, a tapering body and a notched tail. Body with yellow stripes on a white to bluish silver background.
Stripes below the lateral line are diagonal, those above the lateral line are horizontal. Fins yellow.
Juvenile: 3 black stripes, one along top of back to end of dorsal fin base, a short one at top of eye, the 3rd from eye to a double black spot on tail fin base.

Occurs in large schools on rocky and coral reefs to depths of 1 to 60m (10-200ft). This species settles in shallow waters in a variety of structural habitat types including hardbottom and vegetated habitats. Juveniles exhibit a pattern of daily migration from protective resting sites on coral reefs during the day to night-time feeding as individuals on grounds of seagrass beds and other soft bottom habitats such as sand and mud.  Likely to start feeding in seagrasses during daylight. Populations probably continue feeding here during night time, away from the daytime shelter sites, but in the morning of the next day, most fishes return to exactly the same shoreline shelter sites as those of the previous day

Life Cycle:
Sexual maturity is attained at 12-15 cm. Spawn at night during spring and summer, and year round if in warm climates. French grunts are pelagic spawners. Pairs rise together in a “spawning ascent”, at the top of which the female releases thousands of spherical, floating eggs slightly less than 1mm in diameter. When they finish the planktonic stage, after 15 days as larvae, they move into sheltered nursery areas such as shallow reefs and seagrass beds, which are the preferred feeding sites for juvenile grunts. Seagrass beds are an important nursery biotype for juveniles of this species but appear to utilize mangrove and seagrass nursery biotypes simultaneously.
French Grunt  Adult
(C) Dr P Ryan/ RyanPhotographic
French Grunt  Juvenile