Description: Body color light bluish-gray, head with horizontal blue stripes, white underbelly; black blotch on preopercle; margin of each scale bronze; large bright orange mouth; scales above lateral line larger than scales below lateral line.
Similar Fish: Other grunt.
Where Found: From shore to the outer reef edge or on offshore hard bottom to 115 feet; most abundant in water less than 80 feet deep; juveniles inshore.
Size: Most catches 1.5 pounds (15 inches).
Remarks: Audible grunting is produced by grinding of the pharyngeal teeth, with air bladder acting as amplifier; spawning occurs on offshore hard bottoms or reefs from May through June; feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, and small fishes.
Illustration: © Diane Rome Peebles