Bluestriped grunts (haemulon sciurus) are yellow-colored fish. They are striking in appearance, displaying blue horizontal stripes along the body and a black forked caudal fin. And with potential predators like grouper and shark, these grunts stick close to their own.
These common fish can be spotted swimming through the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Western Atlantic and even as far south as Brazil. Bluestriped grunts frequent warm, shallow waters where food sources – like crustaceans, bivalve mollusks and small fish – are abundant.
They form schools in reefs, mangroves and seagrass bed environments, preferring waters over coral and rocky cliff drop-offs. Schools – a term used for a group of fish – offer security against potential predators and increased reproduction opportunities.
Bluestriped grunts travel in small to midsized schools and swim in quick, precise patterns to thwart a possible shark or grouper attack. But other predators lurk in the sea, such as commercial fisherman. The bluestriped grunt is a marketable fish, sold for human consumption or aquarium collections. This particular species is not currently listed as vulnerable or endangered by the IUCN.
View this National Geographic photo gallery for more images of schools of fish!