Fish ID >>Backcountry 

atl.-spadefish

Atlantic Spadefish

Chaetodipterus faber

Description: Silvery, with 4 to 6 black vertical bands on each side which sometimes become obscure in larger fish; deep, flattened body; separated first and second dorsal fins; concave caudal fin; anterior rays of second dorsal fin and anal fin elongated.

Similar Fish: No close resemblance, but frequently and mistakenly called angelfish.

Where Found: Inshore and nearshore, around natural and artificial reefs, and especially near navigation markers in 15 to 20 feet of water.

Size: Most catches less than 2 pounds, known to reach 15 pounds.

Remarks: The Atlantic Spadefish spawns in spring and summer; travels in large schools; small juveniles almost totally black, known to drift on their sides and mimic floating debris; feeds on crustaceans, small encrusting invertebrates, and may nibble on tentacles of jellyfish.

Illustration: © Diane Rome Peebles

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