Belted sandfish

Serranus subligarius

Family Serranidae - basses, sea

Body slightly deeper than other sea basses, elongate; color pale tan or brown background with darker vertical bars; distinct dark blotch on back at base of dorsal fin, blotch also on fin; belly abruptly white (distinct margins between white and brown); irregular spotting on head and cheeks; dark line from snout through eye to top end of preopercle; alternating dark and light bands on fins; mouth large; opercle with 3 flat spines, outer edge of opercle free.
Similar Species
The abruptly white belly and black spot on back and dorsal fin distinguish this fish from other sea basses.
Gulf, rocky areas, coral reefs, shallow waters
Maximum Size
10 cm (4 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. X,11-14; A. III,6-7 (explain)
Other Common Names
belted sand bass
Previous Scientific Names
State size/bag limits