badboy1525
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French Grunt
French Grunts, Haemulon sciurus, are quite common and can be seen on nearly every shallow reef dive in the Caribbean. Grunts get their name because they can produce a grunting sound by grinding their teeth together and amplifying the noise with their air bladders. Other common names are French grunt, banana grunt, gold laced grunt, open-mouthed grunt, redmouth grunt, and yellow grunt. The French grunt is found in the western Atlantic Ocean from Bermuda to South Carolina, and the northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. They travel in large schools, some as large as the thousands, over rocky substrate, coral reefs, under ledges, or close to elk horn coral. They can be found in shallow water up to 197 feet (60m) down. Juveniles are often abundant in the protection of seagrass beds in bays, lagoons, and other coastal waters. This species is white to bluish or yellowish with bright yellow to orange stripes, the first three of which are straight. The remaining stripes are set below the lateral line in a diagonal arrangement. The fins are yellow in color. Its shape is oblong with a compressed body and a blunt head, which at the bottom has yellow spots. The mouth is small to moderate in size, often with thick lips, and red on the inside. Its teeth, arranged in a narrow band in each jaw, are conical in shape with an enlarged outer series but no canines. Its stomach is creamy white. The pectoral fins are moderately long. The pelvic fins are located below the base of the pectoral fins. It is the only grunt that has enlarged scales below the lateral line. Furthermore, it ranges from 15-30 cm in length. The French grunt feeds primarily on small crustaceans, polychaetes, and mollusks. It is a nocturnal species, scavenging the sand flats and seagrass beds in close proximity to coral reefs during the night. Documented predators of the French grunt include larger reef fish including the trumpetfish, black grouper, tiger grouper, yellowfin grouper, and Nassau grouper. Although considered too small to be of commercial value, the French grunt is an excellent panfish. This grunt is caught with traps and seines throughout its range and is marketed fresh. It is also a common display fish in public aquariums.
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