Seabass sp?? - Mystery solved: Tattler Bass


I found this small seabass in the northern Gulf of Mexico off the Florida panhandle.  Depth = 102 ft.  Size is about 3 cm.  Several were hanging out with fish of similar size on a flat, hard-bottom artificial reef.  Water temp 75F.  Obviously some type of seabass and likely a juvenile.

Speculations include crosshatch bass (Serranus luciopercanus), Tattler (S Phoebe), and S atrobranchus.  None of these are a perfect match.   

 Any help appreciated.


I think the mystery has been solved.  I have seen similar fish on two other locations that turned out to be Tattler Bass.  They all are deep fish that like flat, hard bottom.  I've added a photo of the more recent findings.  In the third photo above, you can see a dark bar starting to develop on the body of the mystery fish.  That would correspond to the bar on the tattlers.  


Where were you?  Which ocean?


Sorry, I should have posted the location.

This is in the northern Gulf of Mexico off the Florida panhandle.


Did you collect a specimen for genetic analysis?  I have seen what appears to be the same species and need to ID it.  I am looking for confirmation, if you have it.

Tattler Bass

Mel913 - I didn't collect one for identification.  I usually just photograph fish and only collect on rare occasions.    Let me know if you need to talk off this forum, or need more info.  I will check this forum eventually, especially after they kick off the spammers.


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