Centropristis striata

Super Group: 
Linnaeus 1758
Centropristis melana (Ginsburg, 1952)
Labrus striatus (Linnaeus, 1758)


Diagnosis_Genus: Centropristis Cuvier. All Centropristis have the characters of the Serrants, except that they lack canines, and that all their teeth are of velvet. Thus, their preopercle is serrated, and their thorny operculum. The United States has one which becomes large enough, and whose caudal in its youth is trilobed; it is their Black Perch (Centropristis nigricans, Nob.) Corphoena nigrescens, Bl. Schn., Cuv. et Val., III, pl. XLIV. It is of a blackish brown.

Diagnosis_Species: Labrus striatus Linnaeus. L. pinna dorsi ramentacea lineis albis fuscisque. Muf. Ad. Fr. 2. p. D. 1/2 0/1. P. 17. V. 1/6. A. 3/11. C. 12. Habitat in America.

Other description (Flmnh): The body of the black seabass is stout and robust with a large head, pointy snout, and large oblique mouth. The eye is set high and there is one sharp flat spine located near the caudal end of the operculum. The upper jaw extends to the center of the eye. The dorsal fin is continuous with males having noticeably higher fins than females. The pectoral fins are long and rounded, extending almost to the anal fin. The pelvic fins are large and originate posterior of the pectoral fins. The rounded anal fins originate below the soft portion of the dorsal fin. The caudal fin has three lobes with one extended upper ray in adults; juveniles have rounded caudal fins. Males in breeding condition develop an adipose hump on the nape (in front of the dorsal fin). Large scales cover the body of this fish, but it is naked at the head. The teeth of the black sea bass are arranged in wide bands with inner and outer teeth enlarged. The vomerine teeth appear in a wedge-shaped patch while the teeth on the palatine are arranged in a long narrow patch. Teeth are absent on the tongue. The black seabass is a smoky gray, dusky brown or blue-black above, fading to a slightly paler color underside. The center of each scale is pale blue to white which forms longitudinal stripes along the back and sides of the fish. In addition, the sides sometimes appear mottled or with dark and light vertical crossbars. Males in breeding condition have vivid hues of fluorescent blue and green around the eyes and the nape while the females are lighter in color and brownish or blue-gray. Juveniles have four color phases: overall light gray phase with small dark spots; dark phase with pale white spots; striped phase with a horizontal dark stripe; and a barred phase having six vertical bars.

Body_adult_max_length: 66 cm (biogeodb)
Body_adult_length: 19-30 cm (Flmnh, Steimle et al., 1999)
Body_egg_length: 0.9-1.0 mm (Richards, 2009)
Body_larvae_newly_hatched_length: 2.01 mm (Richards, 2009)
Body_larvae_flexion_length: 5.5-6.0 mm (Richards, 2009)
Body_sexual_maturity_female_length: 120-190 mm (Hood et al., 1994)
Body_sexual_maturity_male_length: 90-330mm (Hood et al., 1994)
Body_larvae_newly_hatched_length: 1.5-2.1 mm SL (Steimle et al., 1999)
Body_juvenile_length: 15-17 mm (Steimle et al., 1999)
Hatching_stage_duration: 120 hours (at 15°C, Steimle et al., 1999)
Weight_max: 5 kg (biogeodb)
Sequence_12S: AY072656 (Pondella et al., 2003)
Sequence_16S: AY072667 (Pondella et al., 2003)


Centropristis: Greek, kentron = sting + Greek, pristis = saw (Fishbase)

Type species

The type species of the genus Centropristis is Centropristis nigricans (Cuvier, 1829).


Black sea bass, Centropristis striata, range from the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, around the Florida Keys, and north to the Gulf of Maine (Hood et al., 1994).
Offshore migration in the fall appears to be triggered by bottom water temperatures, between 10–12°C (Miller at al., 2016). As coastal waters cool below 14°C in the fall, the Middle Atlantic Bight population begins to migrate south and offshore to wintering areas in deeper waters between central New Jersey and North Carolina. As bottom waters warm above about 7°C in the spring, the population migrates inshore into coastal areas and bays in southern New England and the Middle Atlantic Bight. The southern population of black sea bass is not known to make an extensive migration, but may move away from shallow coastal areas during cold winters, especially in the Carolinas (Steimle et al., 1999).

Substrate: water
Oxygen_level: oxic
Salinity: marine
Depth: 0-110 m (biogeodb)
Temperature: 2-20°C (laquariumdeposeidon)
Depth_egg: pelagic (Richards, 2009)
Depth_larvae: pelagic (Richards, 2009)
Depth_juvenile: demersal (Steimle et al., 1999)
Migration: oceanodromous_migration
Causality_of_migration: change_of_seawater_temperature (Miller et al., 2016)
Temporality_of_migration: seasonal (during fall)
Temperature_preferred: 19°C (Fishbase)
Habitat_adult: coastal
Habitat_juvenile: estuarine (Flmnh)
Habitat_juvenile: coastal (Steimle et al., 1999)

Life cycle

No sexual dimorphism (laquariumdeposeidon)
Age at first maturity: female: 4 years, 190 mm SL and male: 5-7 years, > 200 mm SL (Richards, 2009)
Spawning begins in the spring in the southern part of their range (North Carolina and Virginia) and progresses north into southern New England waters from summer through fall (Steimle et al., 1999).
The maximum longevity reported for Centropristis striata is 20 years (Fishbase).
The 2-5 year old females release between 191,000 and 369,500 eggs (Steimle et al., 1999).

Longevity: more than 3 years
Reproduction_mode: sexual_hermaphrodite_protogynous (oviparous)
Generation_time: more than 3 years (Richards, 2009)
Fertility_period: seasonal (spring to summer, Steimle et al., 1999)
Spawning_method: external fertilization in the water column
Fecondity_number_of_eggs_per_adult: 191 000-369 500 eggs (Steimle et al., 1999)

Feeding behaviour


Mode of locomotion

Motility: motile_swimming


Observation site(s)


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Association with... Region origin Name of site In reference...
Amyloodinium ocellatum New York Aquarium