Atlantic wreckfish
(Polyprion americanus)


Species: Polyprion americanus

General data

Scientific names: Atlantic wreckfish
Local names: Stone bass, Bass grouper
Habitat: Saltwater
Climates: Tropical, Subtropical, Temperate

The Atlantic wreckfish, (Polyprion americanus), also known as the stone bass or bass grouper, is a marine, bathydemersal, and oceanodromous ray-finned fish in the family Polyprionidae. It has a worldwide, if disjunct, distribution in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.

The Atlantic wreckfish is a large fish with a deep, robust body and a large head with a protruding lower jaw. The two dorsal fins are joined, the first has 11 spines with the final spine joined on to the second dorsal fin, which has 12 branched rays. The anal fin has a short base and has three robust spines. The caudal fin is broad and square. The body is covered with small, firmly attached scales which run up the base of the dorsal and anal fin. It has a large mouth and eyes. The preoperculum has a spiny margin while the operculum has a thick bony strut running horizontally at eye level which terminates in a spine. The back and flanks are dark brown in colour with darker spots and blotches fading to yellowish on the belly.

They have also been described as being Wreckfish are bluish grey on the back with a paler silvery sheen on the underside. The fins are blackish brown.

The maximum total length is 210 centimetres (6.9 ft) with a maximum published weight of 100 kilograms (220 lb).

The Atlantic wreckfish has a disjunct world wide distribution. It is found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean from Norway to South Africa, into the Mediterranean and including the Macaronesian Islands and Tristan da Cunha. In the western Atlantic it is found from Newfoundland to Argentina.

In the western Indian Ocean it occurs around Île Saint-Paul and Île Amsterdam and in the southwestern Pacific Ocean it is found around New Zealand.

It is also found off southern Australia from just north of Perth, Western Australia to Fraser Island in Queensland, including Tasmania.

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