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The Black Margate, Anisotremus surinamensis, is a marine perciform fish in the grunt family (Haemulidae), also called the Thick Lipped Grunt, Surf Bream, or Black Bream.  It inhabits reefs in shallow subtropical waters off the Eastern Coast of the United States, from Florida through the Gulf of Mexico, the Carribean, and the Western Atlantic south to Brazil, hiding in caves, ledges and shipwrecks up to 20 meters deep.  Jordan and Warden (1898) indicated that it may also exist in the Galapagos, as  the most southern reaching gradation of species A. interruptus that is found to the North.  It has a silvery-colored, elliptical body, with a pointy snout and thick lips.  Young have black longitudinal stripes that fade away as they get older.  The Black Margate is a carnivore and feeds nocturnally on small fish, crustaceans, mollusks and echinoderms.  The genus Anisotremus contains 10 species that live in the eastern Pacific and western Atlantic, of which A. surinamensis is the largest, with a maximum total length of 76 cm, has the largest geographical range, and is found with a large variation of form.  The Black Margate has a long population doubling time and Fish Base ranks it as vulnerable to population decline.  It is sometimes caught and sold as a food fish, but carries some risk of Ciguatera poisoning in the Carribean.

(Bailly 2013; Jordan and Evermann 1898; Jordan and Evermann 1902; Olsen et al. 1984; Robins and Ray 1986)


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