Bream, saltwater bream, sailor’s choice, Canadian bream; Spanish: sargo salema.
The fish has an elongate-oval, compressed body, with the head raised high in the area in front of the dorsal fin. The head is flattened. It has a small mouth and incisor-like teeth with deeply serrated edges. The chewing teeth on both jaws are arranged in two rows. The coloration is generally silvery, with yellow and blue horizontal stripes. A distinctive feature is the round black spot on the upper posterior edge of each gill cover. The species name comes from the needle-like spines on the first dorsal fin. All fins are yellowish.
Pinfish are found in the western Atlantic Ocean, from Massachusetts to the northern Gulf of Mexico, including Bermuda, to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Spotted-tail fish are found in the Gulf of Mexico and Florida.
Sea-bottom shelf and estuary fish that move in groups, sometimes in large numbers, along vegetated and sometimes rocky bottoms, around docks and pilings. They are also often found in mangroves and may enter brackish or fresh water. The fish leave coastal waters for the winter and spawn in offshore waters during the winter. Occurs in waters with a temperature of 7 to 36 °C. With a sharp fall in temperature below 5 °C, its death is observed.
The fish are capable of growing up to 15 inches, rarely reach 10 inches in length and are usually about 7 inches. They live at least 7 years, possibly longer. The average length of annuals is 11.8 cm, while two-year-olds are 13.2 cm. It becomes sexually mature at 8 cm in length.
Life history and Behavior
On the Atlantic coast of the U.S. spawning season lasts from November to March, in the Gulf of Mexico - December to February. For spawning, it migrates from coastal lagoons and bays to the sea, but does not go far from them. The fecundity of the 11-15 cm long barbed chub ranges from 7.7 to 39.2 thousand eggs.
Food and feeding habits
Fish consume crustaceans, mollusks, worms, and occasionally small fish associated with grassy habitat. They nibble on most foods, and this habit makes them undesirable to anglers fishing with bait for other bottom-dwelling species. Off the coast of the Florida Peninsula they feed on phytoplankton, algae, higher plants, worms, bivalves, gastropods, copepods, amphipods, isopods, shrimp, crabs, other crustaceans, echinoderms, fish, and amphibians. Off the coast of North Carolina, it feeds primarily on detritus: but also on algae, copepods, amphipods, polychaetes, and other animals.
At 18 °C, the development of artificially inseminated eggs lasts 48 h. The length of the hatched larvae is 2.3 mm.
|Conservation status||Least Concern|
|Life span, years||No information|
|Maximum body weight, kg||1.5|
|Maximum length, cm||40|
|Sailing speed, m/s||No information|
|Threat to people||Edible|
|Way of eating||Omnivore|