Members of the grunt family get their name from the grunting sound they produce. Often compared to noises made by pigs, these fish can grunt by grinding together their teeth.
  • Size

    18 inches (46 cm)
  • Diet

    Crustaceans, bivalves and small fishes
  • Range

    Western Atlantic
  • Habitat

    Coral and rocky reefs and drop-offs

Physical Characteristics

  • Reaches a maximum length of about 18 inches (46 cm). The maximum published weight is 1.7 lbs. (0.8 kg).
  • Has a yellow head and body with narrow horizontal blue stripes along the head and length of its body. It has a blue stripe under the eye that has a distinctive arch. Its dorsal fin is spiny and yellow.
  • The caudal, or tail, fin is black, which easily distinguishes it from the similar appearing French grunt, whose tail is yellow.


Animal Fact

The bluestriped grunt frequently steals the eggs of damselfish.

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists of crustaceans, bivalves and occasionally on small fishes.

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Western Atlantic from Florida to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
  • Depth range of about 100 feet (30.5 m).
  • Found over coral and rocky reefs and drop-offs.
  • Juveniles are abundant in Thalassia, or turtle grass seagrass beds.

Reproduction & Growth

  • Oviparous, or egg-laying, with distinct pairing during breeding.

Conservation Status

  • “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Congregates in small to midsized schools that are usually found near drop-offs and reefs, which provide structural protection.
  • Schooling behavior is believed to confuse predators, protecting as many fish as possible within the school.
  • Inactive schools seen during the day are taking a rest from the long nights of searching for food.
  • Will hover in mid-water at cleaning stations. Observed opening its mouth to be cleaned by juvenile porkfish.
  • The bluestriped grunt is a frequent thief of damselfish eggs.


  • Reef Fish Behavior. Human, P. and Deloach, N., pgs. 44, 106, 107, 202
  • Reef Fish Identification. Human, P. and Deloach, N., pg. 92
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