Tilefish

Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps

Family Malacanthidae - tilefishes

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Body elongate, color of upper body bluish gray with numerous small yellow spots, underside whitish, silver streak under eye; ridge in front of dorsal fin modified into an enlarged flap, yellowish with dark mottling; head rounded dorsally; small barbel at the posterior margin of lips; tail fin truncate to emarginate; spine on upper margin of gill plate blunt and soft; dorsal fin single, long; most fins dark with yellow spots.
Similar Species
This tilefish is the only one with a barbel on the posterior margin of the lips. Other tilefishes have a predorsal ridge but no predorsal flap. Other tilefishes also have a sharp hardened spine on the upper edge of the gill plates.
Habitat
Gulf, deep water, mud and sandy bottoms, burrows
Maximum Size
125 cm (4 ft), common to 90 cm (3 ft)
Fin Element Counts
D. VII,14-15; A. II,13-15 (explain)
Other Common Names
golden tilefish, great northern tilefish
Previous Scientific Names
Comments
Photos courtesy Michael Mixon
State size/bag limits