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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

French Grunt: 15 Facts You Won't Believe!

Let us 'dive' into some French grunt Interesting Facts!

Next time you go snorkelling or scuba-diving among the coral reefs, you might spot large schools of little, bright yellow fishes!  Sometimes you may also spot individual specimens of this fish in many aquariums, flaunting its bright yellow color as it swims peacefully. That is the Haemulon flavolineatum, also known by an alternate common name, the French grunt.

This fish is native to the waters of the Western Atlantic, swimming amidst the coral reefs and shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Bermuda, South Carolina, and even the Yucatan Peninsula .

The Haemulon flavolineatum does not have just one common name - it has got 6 different names! These names are banana grunt, French grunt, gold-laced grunt, redmouth grunt, open-mouthed grunt and even the yellow grunt!

Aren't these facts on French grunts amazing? For more relatable content, check out these sucker fish facts and skate fish facts for kids.

French Grunt Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a French grunt?

The French grunt is a type of grunt.

What class of animal does a French grunt belong to?

The French grunt is a type of fish that belongs to the class of Actinopterygii.

How many French grunt are there in the world?

There is no exact count on the total specimens of the Haemulon flavolineatum.

Where does a French grunt live?

The redmouth grunt has a wide range. You can spot this species in western Atlantic waters, mainly off the northern coasts of Bermuda, South Carolina, down to the Bahamas. They are also found in the northern Gulf of Mexico down to the Brazilian waters. This includes the Central American coasts and even waters of the West Indies.

What is a French grunt's habitat?

The open-mouthed grunt is found near coral reefs, rocky substrates, or under ledges. They are not deep-sea dwellers, they swim in shallow waters to depths of about 197 ft (60 m). French grunt juvenile fish are concentrated around well-protected areas. These include seagrass beds of lagoons, or bays. They prefer the tropical as well as subtropical waters.

Who do French grunt live with?

The yellow grunt is known to survive in large schools of fellow grunts of the same species, having about a thousand fishes swimming together.

How long does a French grunt live?

This Haemulon genus species is known to live for up to eight years.

How do they reproduce?

There is very little known about the reproduction of this grunts species. These Atlantic fishes have pelagic larvae and eggs. The larvae develop and remain in the larval stage for about two weeks and then settle down in the sea grass. Adult females reach their maturity when they grow to a size of about 6.2 in (15.75 cm).

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this Haemulon genus species is 'Least Concern'.

French Grunt Fun Facts

What do French grunt look like?

The Haemulon flavolineatum has an oblong, almond shaped anatomy. They are mistaken for the snappers due to their shape, but they do not belong to the snapper family. The grunt has a blunt snout. The body of the banana grunt is white/pale blue/yellow hued with three horizontal distinct orange or yellow stripes placed above the lateral line, and multiple similar silver stripes present diagonally below the lateral line. The insides of their mouth is red in color, thus giving it the name, ‘the redmouth grunt’. Multiple yellow spots are dorned on the lower surface of the grunt’s head. They have a small/medium mouth adorned with thick silver lips. Narrow bands of sharp teeth are fixed on each jaw, with the outer teeth shaped like cones. No teeth are present on the roof of the grunt’s mouth, and the grunt lacks canines. The dorsal fin has a small notch, and contains about 12 spines and 14/15 soft rays. On the posterior side of the body is the anal fin, which has eight soft rays and three spines. Their fins are overall yellow tinted, and they have a pearl white abdomen. They also have large eyes, usually of silver color. The Haemulon flavolineatum is the only grunt in the grunt family to have enlarged scales present below its body’s lateral line.

The physical description of the juvenile gold-laced grunt is slightly different. They have white bodies decorated with thick stripes of black color and thin yellow stripes. There is a black blotch present towards the lower end of the caudal peduncle. All fins have a yellowish edge. Below the lateral line, the striped yellow bars are in a diagonal fashion.

Because of its yellow color, the French grunt is also called as banana grunt.

How cute are they?

Oh, we find the banana grunt absolutely beautiful.

How do they communicate?

Though there is no exact information on how the French grunts communicate, we have a fun fact for you. Are you wondering why this fish is called ‘grunt’ of all names?

The grunt species have the ability to grind their pharyngeal teeth against each other. This makes certain ‘grunting’ sounds, which are even more amplified by their swim bladders. It is said that this sound is used to express aggression or as an anti-predatory method to drive away dangerous predators. This grunting is also used in mating sessions.

How big is a French grunt?

Usually, the Haemulon flavolineatum is known to grow about 6.8 in (17.27 cm) in height. However, there are specimens of this species growing to a body length of about 12 in (30.5 cm).

The French grunt is almost 2-3 times the size of the Buenos Aires Tetra.

How fast can a French grunt swim?

Sorry, but we are not aware of how fast this Western Atlantic species can swim.

How much does a French grunt weigh?

French grunts are said to weigh about 0.5-1 lb (0.226-0.45 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the male and female fish of the Haemulon flavolineatum species.

What would you call a baby French grunt?

Though there is no particular name for a baby French grunt fish, a baby fish, in general, is called a 'fry'.

What do they eat?

The French grunt diet mainly consists of crustaceans, mollusks, krills, and even polychaetes. They prefer searching for food around the reefs in the ocean, and among the seagrass beds. The gold-laced grunt is actually a nocturnal species and forage at night.

Are they aggressive?

The Haemulon flavolineatum is, in fact, a peaceful fish, thus making it a popular choice to be kept as pets!

Would they make a good pet?

Absolutely! The banana grunt/French grunt is a popular fish to be kept in the aquarium. Make sure to decorate it with something similar to their Western Atlantic habitat, such as artificial coral reefs, and small aquatic vegetation!

Did you know...

The Haemulon flavolineatum is attacked by many parasites. One of the notable ones is a small crustacean called the Gnathia marleyi, named in honour of the popular reggae artist, Bob Marley.

Unfortunately, they fall prey to many larger fishes such as trumpetfish, groupers such as the Black Grouper, Nassau grouper, yellowfin grouper, tiger grouper, strawberry grouper, and even the red grouper.

Different types of grunt

French grunts belong to the family Haemulidae . This family comprises two subfamilies, namely the  Haemulinae and the Plectorhynchinae. A total of 133 species come under these families combined, broadly classified in 19 different genera.

The Haemulinae family is known to have a shorter dorsal fin compared to the latter, with the fin having 13-16 soft rays. The genera listed under this subfamily are Anisotremus, Emmelichthyops, Boridia, Orthopristis, Brachydeuterus, Xenichthys, Microlepidotus, Inermia, Xenocys, Conodon, Haemulopsis, Parakuhlia, Haemulon, Isacia, Pomadasys and Xenistius.

The second subfamily, Plectorhynchinae, have longer dorsal fins which are adorned with 17-26 soft rays. The total genera listed under this subfamily are Diagramma, Parapristipoma, Genyatremus and Plectorhinchus .

Are French grunts good to eat?

The Haemulon flavolineatum is actually a popular fish for meals! It can be cooked, grilled, baked and eaten by humans. It is easily caught in seines and traps. Usually, the flesh of the French grunt is sold fresh. This is one of the common catches in the Barbados fisheries.

For more relatable content, check out these pumpkinseed sunfish facts and milkfish facts pages.

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

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