Introducing our June 2021 Fish of the Month, the Greater Soapfish, Rypticus saponaceus!
Survey Regions: Greater Soapfish are found through the Caribbean and western Atlantic, in REEF's Tropical Western Atlantic (TWA) and South Atlantic States (SAS) survey regions. Click here to view sightings reports for this species: TWA region and SAS region.
Size: They grow to about 14 inches.
Identifying Features: Greater Soapfish have an elongated, compressed body with a rounded dorsal fin. They are mottled gray or reddish brown in color and may have a green or blue cast. They can also have some indistinct, pale spots covering their body and dorsal fin.
Fun Facts: The Greater Soapfish is part of the Seabass family. They get their name from a toxic mucus they secrete in their skin, which turns into a soap-like foam when they are disturbed. Greater Soapfish are solitary and nocturnal. During the day, they can be found laying motionless, often on their sides, on the sandy bottom. They become active at night while hunting for prey, and their favorite foods include crustaceans and fish.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for our next Fish of the Month!
[Photo by Janna Nichols]