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Atlantic Spadefish Chaetodipterus faber


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Atlantic Spadefish
credit: Matthew Hoelscher/CCSA

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Family: Ephippidae, Spadefishes view all from this family

Description The Atlantic spadefish (Chaetodipterus faber) is a species of marine fish endemic to the western Atlantic Ocean. They are commonly found in shallow waters off the coast of the southeastern United States and in the Caribbean.

Due to their reputation as strong fighters, they are popular game fish, especially during the summer months when they are most active.

The Atlantic spadefish has a very deep, compressed, disk-shaped body and a blunt snout. The second dorsal and anal fins of adults have long, trailing anterior lobes, giving an "angelfish-like" appearance. The body is silver in color with irregular black vertical bands that fade gradually with age. The mouth is small, with the maxilla of adults ending beneath the nostrils. Specimens commonly weigh from three to ten pounds, although individuals as large as twenty pounds have been recorded. Their maximum length is about 3 feet (0.9 meters).

Habitat Ocean or bay shallows, Estuaries, tidal flats & salt marshes, Tidepools.

Range New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Florida, Texas.