Genus Priacanthus

Priacanthus (Cuvier) Oken, 1817

Diagnosis: body relatively deep and compressed, depth 34-40% SL. Eyes very large; mouth large and oblique, the lower jaw strongly projecting, the maxilla reaching approximately to vertical from anterior border of the pupil. Gillrakers on lower limb of first arch 16-20. A well-developed spine at corner of preopercle nearly reaching the margin; of opercle. Striate posterior portion of preopercle above and below base of spine scaleless or nearly scaleless. Teeth small, conical, in a narrow band in jaws. Dorsal fin continuous with 10 spines and 13 soft rays; anal fin with 3 spines and 13-14 soft rays; pelvic fins relatively short (less than 67% of head length) and broadly joined to the body by a membrane; caudal fin may be slightly double emarginated in larger specimens. Scales small, ctenoid, 75-85 on lateral line. Colour: varying from red to silvery pink; small dusky spots usually on membranes of soft portions of dorsal and anal fins, and dash-like spots often on caudal fin membrane. Size: to 30 cm SL, usually 20 cm.

Habitat: a shallow-water species found on coral reefs and rocky bottoms, but has been reported down to 300 m. Solitary and primarly nocturnal. Young live pelagically. Food: small fishes (post-larvae), planktonic crustaceans and molluscs. Reproduction: no data.

Distribution: coasts of Madeira. Elsewhere, the Canaries, coastal bottoms from Mauritania to Angola, St. Helena, coast of South Africa in the western Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Marquesas Is., Rangiora, Hawaii, Easter Island; also Caribbean Sea.

Species about 7; in Clofnam area 2.

Species of this genus in the program:
Priacanthus arenatus
Priacanthus cruentatus