Fish ID >>Reef/Wreck 

black-sea-bass-female

Black Sea Bass

Centropristis striata

Description: Basic color dark brown or black; dorsal fin has rows and stripes of white on black; large males have iridescent blue and ebony markings, and fatty hump in front of dorsal fin; females may have indistinct vertical barrings; topmost ray of caudal fin much elongated in adults; caudal may be tri-lobed; sharp spine near posterior margin of gill cover.

Similar Fish: Bank sea bass, C. ocyurus; other Centropristis.

Where Found: Structure-loving fish, associated with reefs and rubble offshore; smaller specimens often found in INSHORE finger channels.

Size: Common to 1.5 pounds (13 inches).

Remarks: Spawns January through March; protogynous hermaphrodites, older females becoming breeding males; omnivorous bottom feeders, diet including small fish, crustaceans, and shellfish.

Illustration: © Diane Rome Peebles

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