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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Ocean Voyager

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Western Atlantic in Bermuda, South Carolina through the Gulf of Mexico to Brazil and the West Indies to Central America.
  • Found in shallow subtropical rocky substrate, coral reefs, under ledges or close to elkhorn coral in waters as deep as 197 feet (3-60 m).

Physical Characteristics

  • Predominantly silver-to-blue with plentiful bright yellow stripes. First three stripes extend straight across the body while the rest are diagonal.
  • Average length is 6.7 inches (17 cm) with a maximum of 11.8 inches (30 cm).

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists on small crustaceans, polychaetes and mollusks.
  • Nocturnal feeder that scavenges sand flats and seagrass beds close to coral reefs.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Common name derived from fish’s ability to make sound by grinding its teeth.
  • Juveniles abundant in seagrass beds of bays, lagoons and other coastal areas.
  • Popular public aquarium fish.