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Peprilus triacanthus  (Peck, 1804)

Atlantic butterfish
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Image of Peprilus triacanthus (Atlantic butterfish)
Peprilus triacanthus
Picture by Flescher, D.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Stromateidae (Butterfishes)
Etymology: Peprilus: Greek, peprilos, paprax, certain fish from Tracia.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; brackish; benthopelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 15 - 420 m (Ref. 58426), usually ? - 55 m (Ref. 53006).   Subtropical; 54°N - 22°N

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 12.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7251); common length : 20.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2702)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 3; Anal spines: 3. This species is distinguished by the following characters: body oval to somewhat elongate, moderately deep (its depth 2.7 to 3 times in total length) and strongly compressed; eye medium-sized (its diameter 3.4 to 3.7 times in head length), surrounded by a small area of adipose tissue; snout short and blunt, lower jaw projecting somewhat beyond upper; mouth small, tip of maxillary not reaching to anterior eye margin; teeth in jaws very small, in a single row, while those in the upper jaw flattened and with 3 tiny cusps; dorsal and anal-fin bases very long (about equal in length), the anterior fin rays elevated, but fins not falcate, and both fins preceded by 3 short, weak, spines; caudal fin deeply forked; pectoral fins long (longer than head) and pointed; pelvic fins absent; a conspicuous series of 17 to 25 pores along anterior half of body under dorsal fin; lateral line high, following dorsal profile; scales small, present also on cheeks; caudal vertebrae 17 to 20; body color pale blue above, silvery below; numerous irregular dark spots on sides in live fish (fading after death) (Ref. 53006).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Western Atlantic: eastern Newfoundland and Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada to Palm Beach, eastern Florida, USA. Also in the Gulf of Mexico (Ref. 2702). Absent in Bermuda or Caribbean (Ref. 26938).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Forms large schools over the continental shelf, except during the winter months when it may descend to deeper water. Juveniles are generally found under floating weeds and jellyfish. Often found in brackish waters (Ref. 26938). Nerito-pelagic (Ref. 58426). Adults feeds mainly on jellyfish (Ref. 26938), squids, arrow worms, crustaceans and worms (Ref. 58426). Marketed fresh, smoked and frozen; eaten fried, broiled and baked (Ref. 9988). Mostly frozen and exported to Japan.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986. A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 354 p. (Ref. 7251)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(fisheries: production; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5078   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01318 (0.00575 - 0.03024), b=3.11 (2.90 - 3.32), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.0   ±0.3 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.8(?); tm=1).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (19 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.