Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Kyphosidae
(Sea chubs) > Kyphosinae
Etymology: Kyphosus: Greek, kyphos = bent (Ref. 45335).
See explanation of the correct name choice to Kyphosus sectatrix (Linnaeus, 1758) versus saltatrix in Eschmeyer (CofF ver. Oct. 2012: Ref. 92135).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 30 m (Ref. 9626), usually 1 - 10 m (Ref. 40849). Subtropical; 42°N - 33°S
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 76.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5288); common length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3397); max. published weight: 6.0 kg (Ref. 40637)
soft rays: 11. Gray overall, with faint yellow lines on side and yellow line from corner of mouth to preopercle (Ref. 26938). Upper part pf opercular membrane blackish. The young may display pale spots nearly as large as eye on the head, body and fins (Ref. 13442). Each jaw with a regular row of close-set, strong, incisor-like, round-tipped teeth of a peculiar hockey stick-shape, their bases set horizontally, resembling a radially striated bony plate inside mouth (Ref 52729).
Western Atlantic: Canada (Ref. 5951) to Massachusetts, USA and Bermuda southward to Brazil (Ref. 7251), including Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea (Ref. 9626). Eastern Atlantic: south of Morocco to Gulf of Guinea (Ref. 7373); St. Paul's Rocks (Ref. 13121), Ascension and St. Helena. Rarely found in the Mediterranean and off Madeira.
Inhabits shallow waters, over turtle grass, sand or rocky bottom and around coral reefs (Ref. 3725). Young commonly found among floating Sargassum seaweeds (Ref. 3725). Feeds on plants, mainly on benthic algae, as well as on small crabs and mollusks (Ref. 6547, 44187). Also feeds on spinner dolphins’ feces and vomits at Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, southeast Atlantic. The offal feeding may be regarded as a simple behavioral shift from plankton feeding to drifting offal picking (Ref. 48727). Marketed fresh (Ref. 3725).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Desoutter, M., 1990. Kyphosidae. p. 831-833. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA,). JNICT,Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 2. (Ref. 7373)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5001 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.0 ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (45 of 100) .