Tautoga onitis  (Linnaeus, 1758)

Tautog
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Tautoga onitis   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Tautoga onitis (Tautog)
Tautoga onitis
Picture by Flescher, D.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Labridae (Wrasses)
Etymology: Tautoga: Plural of the word "taut", an Indian Brazil name translated by Roger William from f the Narragansett, "tautauog" = sheepshead.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; brackish; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 75 m.   Subtropical; 46°N - 31°N, 81°W - 58°W

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 18 - 26.5 cm
Max length : 91.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7251); max. published weight: 11.3 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 34 years (Ref. 6486)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 16 - 17; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 7 - 8. Distinguished from Tautogolabrus adspersus which occurs in the same area and further north, by its steep, rounded dorsal head profile; stouter body; scaled lower gill cover; and the more backward location of the pelvic fins.

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Western Atlantic: slightly east of Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canada to South Carolina in USA; most abundant between Cape Cod and Delaware Bay.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found close to shore on hard-bottom habitats, occasionally entering brackish water. Adult male territorial and active during the day to feed and rests in crevices at night. Prefers temperatures above 10°C. Spawning was noted in June-July in Canadian waters, but appears more protracted (April-July) in coastal waters of Virginia, USA. Feeds mainly on mussels, gastropods, other mollusks and crustaceans. This species has gained popularity as a prized food and sport fish (Ref. 6486, 4926, 41297). Investigation on the diel and seasonal activity patterns of the adult tautog in its southern range were conducted using ultrasonic telemetry (Ref. 41297).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Westneat, Mark | Collaborators

Leim, A.H. and W.B. Scott, 1966. Fishes of the Atlantic coast of Canada. Bull. Fish. Res. Board Can. (155):485 p. (Ref. 4926)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A2bd)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
FAO(fisheries: production; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.0000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01660 (0.01033 - 0.02666), b=3.08 (2.94 - 3.22), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.3   ±0.47 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.09; tm=2-3; tmax=34).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High to very high vulnerability (69 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.