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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Ocean Voyager

Range / Habitat

  • Smallmouth grunt is a marine fish that occurs in the Western Atlantic from southern Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean and the Yucatan south to Brazil.
  • Found in small schools over exposed rocky areas and coral reefs from near-surface to about 82 feet (25 m). Sometimes seen sheltering in elkhorn coral and staghorn coral. 
  • Juveniles are often encountered in turtle grass (Thalassia) beds.

Physical Characteristics

  • Smallmouth grunt has a bluish silver or silver-white body color with five or six yellow stripes. 
  • It has a smaller mouth than other grunts.
  • Reaches a maximum size of about 9 inches (23 cm).

Diet / Feeding

  • Feeds mainly on plankton, small crustaceans, mollusks and worms.
  • This grunt is reported to spend daylight hours on reefs and move into open water to feed at night.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Smallmouth grunt forms large schools around reefs in Florida.
  • It is too small to be considered a game fish, although its flesh is flavorful.
  • This species often is caught by anglers to be used as bait.

Coral Reef Fishes. Lieske, E, and Myers, R.
Atlantic Coast Fishes – Peterson’s Field Guides. Robins, C.R., Ray, G.C. and Douglass, J.
McClane’s Field Guide to Saltwater Fishes of North America. McClane, A.J.