Mulloidichthys martinicus Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1829, Martinique Island, West Indies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Poisson chиvre jaune.
Twin barbels on the lower jaw, a relatively short snout, the body elongate with two well-separated dorsal fins, two spines in the anal fin, and a forked caudal fin. There are 36–37 lateral line scales from the upper gill opening to the base of the caudal fin. These fishes are bronze and pale yellow in color with a yellow median stripe that extends along the length of the body, and grow to 12 in (30 cm) total length.
Western Atlantic, from Bermuda southwest to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, and south from the Bahamas to Brazil.
Coral reefs and flats of sand or rubble.
Swims lazily or hovers in schools above the bottom during the day and forages after dark.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feeds by probing the bottom with its barbels in search of prey, usually at night or during low-light periods. The diet includes annelid worms, crabs, ophiurans, and to a lesser extent, small fishes.
Spawns in aggregations and produces pelagic eggs and larvae. Eggs are spherical and small, between 0.024–0.036 in (0.63–0.93 mm) in diameter. Larvae hatch between 0.063–0.134 in (1.6–3.4 mm) in length, are elongate, and have a large yolk sac, unformed jaws, and unpigmented eyes. Body pigmentation develops with absorption of the yolk sac. Possesses a gas bladder and a short gut. The barbels form at about 0.67–0.71 in (17–18 mm) but remain recessed under the lower jaw. Post-larvae appear capable of a relatively long pelagic phase prior to settlement.
Not listed by the IUCN.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Highly esteemed as a food fish and taken in subsistence and local commercial fisheries.
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