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