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Author: Cuvier, 1829

Priacanthus arenatus Cuvier, 1829

Diagnosis: body relatively deep and compressed, depth 31-36% SL. Eyes very large; mouth large and oblique, the lower jaw strongly projecting, the maxilla nearly reaching to vertical level from anterior border of the eyc. Gillrakers on lower limb of first arch 21-23. Spine at corner of preopercle very short in adults, variable in young. Striate portion of preopercle above and below base of spine scaled. Teeth small, conical, in a narrow band in jaws. Dorsal fin continuous with 10 spines and 13-14 soft rays; pelvic fins moderately long (more than 77% of head length) and broadly joined to the body by a membrane; caudal fin slightly emarginate. Scales small, ctenoid, 72-86 on lateral line. Colour: uniform bright scarlet, the membranes of pelvic fins dusky to blackish, especially distally; a black spot present dorsally on pelvic fin near base. Size: to 40 cm, usually 30-35 cm.

Habitat: benthic on coral reefs and rocky bottoms, generally occurring at depths of 15-75 m (exceptionally to 200 m) in small aggregations; primarily nocturnal. Young fish live pelagically in upper layers of the oceans. Food: small fishes, crustaceans and polychaetes. Reproduction: no data.

Distribution: coasts of Madeira. Elsewhere, tropical waters of eastern and western Atlantic, the Canaries, Cape Verde Is, St. Helena, Caribbean Sea, Florida coast, Brazil and South African coasts of the southern Indian Ocean.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. No data.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Atlantic big-eye (Priacanthus arenatus)