Longtail bass

Hemanthias leptus

Family Serranidae - basses, sea

Body elongate, somewhat stout; color pink or reddish on back and head, lighter color on sides and belly, some yellow mottling on sides; diffused yellow stripe from eye to margin of opercle; fins yellow and pink; filament of 3rd dorsal spine greatly elongate in larger specimens; several pelvic fin rays greatly elongated in larger fish; last rays of dorsal and anal fine elongate, pointed or rounded depending on size; mouth large, slightly upturned, lower jaw juts past upper jaw; canine teeth present in upper and lower jaws; tail truncate to slightly emarginate in adults, slightly forked in juveniles.
Similar Species
The pinkish color with yellow mottling and a yellow stripe on head, plus the elongated filaments on the dorsal and pectoral fins help distinguish this fish from other basses and groupers.
Gulf, deep waters
Maximum Size
50 cm (19 1/2 in), common to 35 cm (14 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. X,14; A. III,8 (explain)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
State size/bag limits