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 their teeth together.
  • Size

    Up to 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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