Fun Wreckfish Facts For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
Oct 20, 2022 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
One of the interesting wreckfish facts is that they have silver bellies
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.8 Min

Wreckfish is a predator fish that belongs to the Polyprionidae family. Wreckfish is the known predator of octopus and squids that live inside caves. Certain types of fish overhang on Charleston Bump in the South Atlantic Ocean, which are also prey to wreckfish.

The adults live in deep water at depths ranging from 200-600 ft (61-183 m) near South Carolina. Their backs are bluish-gray in color. Their bellies have a silvery sheen.

These fishes are generally solitary but form groups during the summer season for breeding purposes. The young ones prefer to live near the surface while the adults stay at the bottom of the ocean floor. There are fisheries that breed wreckfish for human consumption.

Special fisheries are prepared by fishermen for commercial breeding and fishing and are controlled under US regulations. There are also provisions for the recreational fishing of these species. These are specifically allowed in July or August.

You may also check out herring facts and Arctic char facts from Kidadl.

Wreckfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a wreckfish?

Wreckfish is a large marine ray-finned fish. It belongs to the family Polyprionidae.

What class of animal does a wreckfish belong to?

Wreckfish is a large marine fish and belongs to the class Actinopterygii.

How many wreckfish are there in the world?

The actual number of wreckfish in the world is not available.

Where does a wreckfish live?

Atlantic wreckfish are found mainly in the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean. It is precisely found in the western Atlantic Ocean and commercial fishery found southeast of Charleston, South Carolina.

What is a wreckfish's habitat?

The distribution of wreckfish is mainly in the deepwater of the western Atlantic Ocean. They are found in the natural reefs, caves, densely scattered areas with boulders, rocky substrates, shipwrecks, etc. As the Atlantic wreckfish is found in these spots, it got its name from its habitat.

Who do wreckfish live with?

Wreckfish are solitary species that live as individuals. They gather together only to breed during the summer season. The young wreckfish form groups and move together to protect themselves from predators while hunting small fishes also.

How long does a wreckfish live?

Wreckfish, or stone bass, have an expected lifespan of 90 years.

How do they reproduce?

The male Atlantic wreckfish attain maturity at nine years, while the female wreckfish attain maturity at 10 years. The reproduction process is the same as the other fishes, and their breeding starts during the summer season.

The male wreckfish releases sperms in the ocean while the female wreckfish releases the eggs. The spawning of young wreckfish can be found from the end of July to the beginning of October.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of wreckfish is termed as Data Deficient by the IUCN.

Wreckfish Fun Facts

What do wreckfish look like?

A wreckfish has a broad head.

The wreckfish, also called the stone bass, is a cousin of sea bass and therefore shares some similarities. It has dark brown color with blotches of yellow that fade on the belly, allowing it to blend with the seafloor easily. The underside is a silvery sheen, and the back is bluish-gray.

Soft rays are composed of square-edged fins. The fins are black-brown in color.

The wreckfish of the family Polyprionidae has a large head, eyes, and mouth with the lower jaw protruding outside. There are 11 spines in the two dorsal fins and 12 branched rays in the second dorsal fins. The fish has small scales that are firmly attached to the body.

How cute are they?

One may not find the Atlantic wreckfish cute because of their robust spiny body. The lower jaw protrudes outside, and the fins are spiny at the top, which makes them look dangerous.

How do they communicate?

These fish are mainly found at the bottom of the ocean floor, so there is no data available regarding their communication.

How big is a wreckfish?

Wreckfish is a pretty big fish with a length of 30-48 in (76-122 cm) and a maximum recorded length of 83 in (210 cm).

How fast can a wreckfish swim?

There isn't any data available on the swimming speed of wreckfish. But fishermen associated with these species believe that their speed is not more than 25 mph (40 kph).

A special fishing line is used to catch them. It swims approximately twice as fast as bonefish. According to fishermen, any species that swim over 30 mph (48 kph) cannot be caught by the fishing line.

How much does a wreckfish weigh?

Wreckfish are big fishes that can weigh from 40-60 lb (18-27 kg). They are heavier than a Port Jackson shark or a Japanese macaque monkey by two or three times.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There isn't any specific name for the male species and female of the species of the wreckfish.

What would you call a baby wreckfish?

There isn't any specific name of a baby wreckfish and is therefore called a young wreckfish.

What do they eat?

The diet of a wreckfish varies, but it mainly consumes fish, cuttlefish, squid that live at the bottom of the ocean. It also consumes octopus and crustaceans found inside the Charleston Bump located southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, in the South Atlantic Ocean.

They are also opportunistic because a report once came where a wreckfish devoured a small shark that was feeding on a dead swordfish.

Are they dangerous?

Wreckfish is not a dangerous animal. They remain mainly at the bottom of the ocean floor or in caves, shipwrecks, or natural reefs in the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean.

Would they make a good pet?

Wreckfish may not make a good pet because they are marine species usually found at the bottom of the ocean, forming their habitat. Their diet is also based on fish found in deep water, which shall not be possible for pet owners to provide. So it's recommended not to have them as pets.  

Did you know...

One of the interesting facts about Atlantic wreckfish is that it reaches 220 lb (100 kg), which places it on the largest Serranidae species list.

The wreckfish are bred for commercial consumption and fishing by South Atlantic fishery management under US regulations. The South Atlantic fishery management produces them in special fisheries for commercial purposes, i.e. for human consumption. A special fishing line is used to catch the fish and to minimize seafloor damage.

Another interesting feature about wreckfish is that they survive at depths of 140-3,300 ft (43-1006 m).

Catching and eating wreckfish

Atlantic wreckfish, like salmon are consumed by humans because of their flavor and taste and can be used in multiple preparations. The fish has a firm flesh of white color with a mild flavor.

The young ones taste sweet and juicy, whereas the larger fish tastes heavy and flaked. Hydraulic hook-and-line is the main fishing gear used to catch the fish so that the seafloor is not damaged by this type of fishing gear. They are now bred in the commercial fishery for consumption and fishing purposes.

Naming the wreckfish

The Atlantic wreckfish gets its name from the habitat where it is found. This fish is mainly found in shipwrecks, caves, natural reefs, and areas where there are large amounts of boulders. The other names of this fish are bass groper or stone bass.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fishes from our Pacific cod facts and fluke fish facts pages.

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

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

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Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

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Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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