Common names from other countries
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Priacanthidae
(Bigeyes or catalufas)
Etymology: Heteropriacanthus: Greek, heteros = other + Greek, prion = saw + greek, akantha = thorn (Ref. 45335). More on author: Lacepède.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 3 - 300 m (Ref. 27000), usually 3 - 35 m (Ref. 40849). Subtropical; 33°N - 32°S, 180°W - 180°E
Circumglobal in tropical and tropically influenced seas. Western Atlantic: continental waters from off Florida to Flower Garden Reef off Texas in the Gulf of Mexico; Caribbean islands and along the coast of South America to Argentina. Eastern Atlantic: eastern and mid Atlantic islands from Madeira to St. Helena; not recorded from African continental waters. Indo-Pacific: South and eastern Africa (excluding the Red Sea) eastward in island habitats through the central Pacific. Eastern Pacific: island habitats from off Baja California to the Galapagos; probably uncommon along coast of Mexico, Central and South America, questionably to Chile.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 50.7 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9990); common length : 20.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 55763); max. published weight: 2.7 kg (Ref. 9990)
soft rays: 13 - 14. Silvery pink, mottled red or solid red in color; median fins with faint dark dots. Pelvic fins dusky or pale and without distinct spots (Ref. 4328). Section of preopercle behind canal striated and without scales (Ref. 26938).
Common in lagoon and seaward reefs, primarily around islands. Under or near ledges by day (Ref. 9710). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Juvenile pelagic (Ref. 9335). Nocturnal (Ref. 5213), feeding mainly on octopi, pelagic shrimp, stomatopods, crabs, small fish, and polychaetes. Solitary (Ref. 5213). During the day usually occurs singly or in small groups but at dusk it may gather in large numbers (Ref. 37816). Known to produce sound. Marketed fresh (Ref. 3800). Minimum depth reported taken from Ref. 30874.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Starnes, W.C., 1988. Revision, phylogeny and biogeographic comments on the circumtropical marine percoid fish family Priacanthidae. Bull. Mar. Sci. 43(2):117-203. (Ref. 5403)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30911)
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 23.3 - 29, mean 27.4 (based on 2452 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.0000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01738 (0.00975 - 0.03097), b=2.89 (2.74 - 3.04), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.6 ±0.2 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (29 of 100) .