Tomtate

Haemulon aurolineatum

Family Haemulidae - grunts

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Body elongate, compressed; color golden on top, sides and bottom white or silvery with yellow horizontal stripes; 1 yellow stripe extends from eye to base of tail; large dark blotch at base of tail; snout pointed, mouth large, reaching to back of eye; inside mouth bright orange or red; 2 pores on chin.
Similar Species
The tomtate and the striped grunt, H. boschmae, are the only grunts in this area with 13 dorsal spines. The striped grunt also has yellow stripes and a blotch on the tail, but it is more slender and its body in nearly round in cross section (not laterally compressed). The inside of its mouth is white.
Habitat
Gulf, sandy bottoms and seagrass beds near reefs
Maximum Size
25 cm (10 in), common to 18 cm (7 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. XIII,14-15; A. III,9 (explain)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
Comments
State size/bag limits