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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

15 Fin-tastic Facts About Atlantic Wreckfish For Kids

Atlantic Wreckfish Fact File

There are over 30,000 species of vertebrae that breathe through gills, swim with fins, and have scales and small brains. Wondering who? The fish conquer the water bodies around the world, and an Atlantic wreckfish, Polyprion americanus, is one of them. It is also known as stone bass, bass groper, and wreckfish. It is closely related to grouper and sea bass and is often speculated to be cousins. The fish is cosmopolitan. The population of the wreckfish is distributed throughout the eastern and western Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean.

The wreckfish is a ray-finned fish from the family Polyprionidae. Furthermore, it is a commercial fish with Charleston bump (South Carolina, South Atlantic) as the primary commercial fishery center.  Being smart seafood, it is harvested and managed in commercial fisheries, concentrating in Charleston, a deepwater bank near the South Atlantic. Though the deepwater fish is large, slow-moving, and is predatory, the fish is caught by commercial fishermen and the stock is speculated to be healthy. It is transported across the South Atlantic to the coast of Europe.

The wreckfish is a blue-gray fish with a silver sheen. While the underside is paler with brown-black fins, it has blotches fading from brown to yellow on the belly. Interestingly, the mouth of the fish is large with a bony ridge on the upper side of the gill cover. It inhabits the caves and shipwrecks in the rocky ocean bottom or natural reef.

If the uniqueness of the Atlantic wreckfish makes you interested to read more about similar species, you can read about ladyfish and meagre fish.

Atlantic Wreckfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Atlantic wreckfish?

An Atlantic wreckfish, Polyprion americanus, is a bathydemersal, marine ray-finned fish, also known as stone bass, bass groper, and wreckfish. It is a cousin of the grouper and sea bass. It is a commercial fish harvested from mid-April to mid-January in the fisheries.

What class of animal does an Atlantic wreckfish belong to?

The Atlantic wreckfish, Polyprion americanus, belongs to the class Actinopterygii, order Perciformes, family Polyprionidae, and genus Polyprion. Its scientific name, Polyprion americanus, is referred to as the spiny fin as Polyprion has a Greek origin. The word poly means 'many', while prion means 'saw' which is translated as 'many saws' highlighting the spiny fins.

How many Atlantic wreckfish are there in the world?

The Atlantic wreckfish, Polyprion americanus, is a commercial fish inhabiting deep water bodies and various fisheries. While the fishing rates of the wreckfish are reportedly high, the population of fish is at no risk. A considerable yet healthy stock is recorded in the fisheries.

Where does an Atlantic wreckfish live?

While the wreck bass was first documented near the coast of Charleston bump, the Atlantic wreckfish, Polyprion americanus, is a cosmopolitan species of fish living in caves over the rocky bottom. Its disjunct population is distributed from the eastern and western Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. The Atlantic wreckfish location ranges from the South Atlantic to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in Europe. It is also a sport fish along the coast of North and South America.

What is an Atlantic wreckfish's habitat?

The North wreckfish inhabits caves over the rocky bottom of deep water bodies or natural reefs. The species is recorded to live at depths of 200-600 ft (61-183 m). Precisely, the Atlantic wreckfish habitat surrounds the bottom of various water bodies.

Who do Atlantic wreckfish live with?

While the Atlantic wreckfish live a solitary life in a reserved territory around the bottom, they spawn during the summer months from mid-January to mid-April in areas around the Charleston Bump. Juveniles live in shoals under protection from their predators.

How long does an Atlantic wreckfish live?

An Atlantic wreckfish is reported to have a long and healthy life with an average life span of over 70 years.

How do they reproduce?

The species of wreckfish attain sexual maturity within the initial eight years. They spawn in the summer months from mid-January to mid-April. The fertilized eggs hatch into larvae. The juveniles live in shoals under protection from their predators. While adults do not have known predators, juveniles are threatened by bony fish and sharks.

What is their conservation status?

While the Atlantic wreck bass or stone bass are often caught via commercial fishing, it is stored in the fishery, harvested, and managed by the fisherman. The species has a healthy stock recorded in the respective fishery and also, the fish is at no risk. Furthermore, the wreckfish is not listed under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Thus, it is tagged as Data Deficient under the IUCN List.

Atlantic Wreckfish Fun Facts

What do Atlantic wreckfish look like?

The wreckfish is bluish-gray with a silvery sheen and the mostly spiny fins are brownish-black in color. Its gill cover has a bony ridge. While the underside is paler, the belly is reported to have blotches fading from brown to yellow. It has a large head a big mouth with an external lower jaw protrudes. With age, the fish grows heavy with a maximum weight ranging up to 220 lb (100 kg).

It is a large blue-gray fish with a big head, large mouth, and blotched belly.

How cute are they?

The fish has an external lower jaw that protrudes making the fish look dangerous. The wreckfish is not considered cute but is smart seafood. You may not find the fish attractive but are sure to feed upon it, considering the mild yet distinct flavor of the fish.

How do they communicate?

There is no scientific search data highlighting the communication mechanism of the fish. Like other species of fish, it is speculated to communicate through different gestures and motions. Also, since the species lead a solitary life, it is hardly recorded to communicate with fish in its habitat.

How big is an Atlantic wreckfish?

The length of the wreckfish ranges up to 6.9 ft (210 cm). The whale shark is the longest fish caught so far throughout the oceanic bodies.

How fast can an Atlantic wreckfish swim?

Research reports lack an estimated speed of the north wreckfish. It is believed that the fish does not swim faster than 25 mph (40 kph) since the fishery authorities highlight the fact that fish swimming over 30 mph (48 kph) cannot be caught by the fishing line.

How much does an Atlantic wreckfish weigh?

According to the search, the weight of a stone bass ranges up to 220 lb (100 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The Atlantic wreckfish male and Atlantic wreckfish female do not have a sex-specific name under the genre, biology.

What would you call a baby Atlantic wreckfish?

The baby wreckfish is often called a fry in biology.

What do they eat?

The Atlantic wreckfish diet comprises fish, squid, cuttlefish, crab, and lobster. They are majorly predatory and feed and prey upon a variety of marine creatures residing in their habitat. Also, squid and cuttlefish are used to set a trap by the fisherman while fishing as they are their primary source of food and thus get caught in a fishery.

Are they dangerous?

While the wreckfish is highly predatory, it is dangerous to a variety of marine creatures as it is a primary source of its food. It is not speculated to pose any danger to humans, rather human activities such as fishing are reported to be a threat to the species. There is a healthy stock of the Atlantic wreckfish (edible species) managed in the fishery, caught by fishing.

Would they make a good pet?

No, the Atlantic wreck bass is not an ideal pet, rather is a source of seafood for humans.

Did you know...

It is a commercial species of wreckfish that is considered smart seafood. Thus, fishing and harvesting the wreckfish is a pretty cosmopolitan activity, carried throughout the globe.

The species is recorded to have high fishing rates, thus to stabilize its population, there are a few restrictions imposed on fishing activities.

The wreckfish is a smart component of seafood having a mild flavor, similar to grouper or sea bass. It is best served when grilled.

How did Atlantic wreckfish get their name?

The Atlantic wreckfish name can be justified as they tend to inhabit shipwrecks in the rocky ocean bottom or natural reef. On the other hand, its scientific name, Polyprion americanus, refers to its spiny fins as Polyprion has a Greek origin and the word 'poly' means 'many', while 'prion' means 'saw' which is translated as 'many saws' highlighting the spiny fins.

Are Atlantic wreckfish endangered?

There are no reports stating whether the wreckfish are Endangered or at risk of being Extinct.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these channel catfish facts and African lungfish facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Atlantic wreckfish coloring pages.

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