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Spottail pinfish
Spottail Pinfish fishing.jpg
A spottail pinfish after caught by an angler.
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
Order:
Family:
Sparidae
Genus:
Diplodus
Species:
D. holbrookii
Binomial name
Diplodus holbrookii
(Bean, 1878)
Synonyms
  • Sargus holbrookii (Bean, 1878)
  • Diplodus holbrooki (common misspelling)

The spottail pinfish (Diplodus holbrookii) is an ocean-going species of fish in the family Sparidae. It is also known as the Spottail seabream. Along with other members of their family, Spottail pinfish are occasionally eaten and considered by some to be a panfish.

Taxonomy and naming

Tarleton Hoffman Bean
T. H. Bean, who described the Spottail pinfish.
Holbrook John Edwards 1794-1871
John Holbrook, for whom the Spottail pinfish was named .

The Spottail pinfish was described in 1878 by Tarleton Hoffman Bean, an ichthyologist who worked mainly on the Connecticut coast. He originally placed it in the genus Sargus, but it was later moved to Diplodus. Bean named the Spottail pinfish after John Edwards Holbrook, a zoologist who had died 7 years before.

Description

Spottail pinfish are almost totally gray in color, with a large, black spot on the distal end of the caudal peduncle. This is similar to other members of its genus, Diplodus annularis and Diplodus sargus -though D. sargus has several vertical bars that the Spottail pinfish does not.

Diplodus sargus01
Diplodus sargus, a similar species which common to areas where Spottial pinfish are found.

Distribution and habitat

Spottail pinfish are exclusive to the western Atlantic ocean. They can be found from Chesapeake bay to southern Florida. Spottail pinfish are also known from the northern Gulf of Mexico, but are not known from the West Indies. There are only questionable reports from Cuba.

Spottail pinfish are common to shallow waters (only as deep as 28m) near coasts, such as bays and harbors, though only rarely in brackish areas. They prefer flat, vegetated bottoms such as beds of sea grass, where they feed on a mixture of plants (such as Thalassia) and small invertebrates.

Behavior

Spottail pinfish school in small numbers, but generally mix with many other species such as the Porkfish, Gray snapper, Bluestriped grunt, Sailor's grunt, and the Bucktooth parrotfish.

Fishing

Spottail pinfish readily eat several baits such as shrimp (live or artificial), squid, and clams. Usually they are a pest fish when trying to catch a larger fish.

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