Porkfish. Source: Florent Charpin/www.reefguide.org
Kingdom: Animalia (Animals)
Also known as the Atlantic porkfish, adults of this species range from 15 to 41 centimeters in length. Their thick bodies are silver with a number of yellow stripes on the back and mid-body. Each individual exhibits two thick diagonal bands on its head. Juveniles have bright yellow heads, a black stripe running down their body, and a black spot on the tail.
They live on reefs and rocky bottoms at depths from two to 20 meters.
Porkfish are carnivores that feed on mollusks, echinoderms, annelids, and crustaceans. They hang around the reef during the day. At sunset, they travel to open water where they feed. They use their strong jaws to crush the exoskeletons of their prey. Juveniles may act as cleaners.
Because they feed at night, porkfish spend their days hiding under ledges or near the protection of the reef.
Porkfish are pelagic spawners. Their larvae enter the planktonic stage before settling in nursery area such as shallow back reefs or sea grass beds.
Juveniles of this taxon may act as cleaners.
Porkfish are not considered to be a species at risk.
References and Further Reading
- Encyclopedia of Life. Curator: C.Michael Hogan. 2011. Anisotremus virginicus (Linnaeus, 1758)
- Florida Museum of Natural History. 2010. Porkfish
- P.Humann and N.Deloach (Editor) 1994. Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. New World Publications, Inc. Jacksonville, FL. ISBN: 1878348078
- N.Deloach. 1999. Reef Fish Behavior, Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. New World Publications, Inc. Jacksonville, FL. ISBN: 1878348280