Polyprion americanus

Author: (Schneider, 1801)

Polyprion americanus (Schneider, 1801)

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Polyprion americanus (Bloch and Schneider, 1801) (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: body rather deep and robust; head large with a rough bony ridge across upper part of opercle. D XI + 11-12, A III + 8-10; pelvic fins longer than pectoral fins. Scales very rough, 90-114 in lateral line. Colour: brown or bluish-grey; juveniles with irregular light and dark marblings, more or less disappearing with age. Size: to 2 m SL.

Habitat: above rocky and muddy/sandy bottoms, at 40-450 m, chiefly at 100-200 m, said to reach 1,000 m. Adults solitary and benthic; young somewhat gregarious, epipelagic, often below floating wreckage. Food: crustaceans and molluscs, also fishes. Reproduction: during the summer (Mediterranean).

Distribution: eastern Atlantic northward to Norway and Mediterranean. Elsewhere, in eastern Atlantic, the Canaries, the Cape Verde Is., Tristan da Cunha and African coasts southward to southern Angola; probably South Africa (Cape to Natal); in western Atlantic, Newfoundland to north-eastern United States; reported from Argentina (rare).

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Bertolini, 1933: 314, pl. 21 (fig. 15-21) | Sparta, 1939: 1-9, 9 fig.
Otoliths (sagitta). Sanz Echeverría, 1931: 372, pl. 2 (fig. 10) | Chaine, 1935: 96, pl. 7.