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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Ocean Voyager

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Western Atlantic from Florida and the Bahamas through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. In the Eastern Atlantic on Ascension Island and St. Paul’s Rocks. 
  • Found in subtropical shallow reefs near sea fans at depths from 9-330 feet (3-100 m).

Physical Characteristics

  • Commonly 11 inches long (28 cm), can reach maximum size near 16 inches (42 cm).
  • Adult is almost entirely black with yellow tints on the body scales.
  • Sub-adult will have some scale coloration, usually with two to three yellow bars.
  • Juvenile has many yellow bars on the body.

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists of sponges, algae, bryozoans, zoantharians, gorgonian corals and tunicates.
  • Juvenile serves cleaning stations, cleaning jacks, snappers, morays, grunts, surgeonfishes and wrasses.

Reproduction / Growth

  • Oviparous and monogamous, as it has one mate at a time, but does not necessarily remain together permanently.

Conservation Status

  • “Least Concern” on IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • This species is usually found in pairs, and breeding pairs territorially defend their space from other pairs.