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Blackfish (Tautog)

Tautoga onitis

A drawing of a blackfish with its blotches of spots and full spiny fins on its headMax Size: 90cm (3 ft.)

Habitat: Inshore waters, Nova Scotia to S. Carolina

Diet: Hard shelled animals including snails, mussels and crabs






Fun Facts:

  • Blackfish are a benthic, or bottom dwelling, species that belongs to the wrasse family
  • These fish are camouflaged to hide against dark surfaces like rocks, wood, and other structure in their environments (juveniles feature more cryptic, mottle camouflage while adults feature more solid, darker shades)
  • Blackfish commonly rest on their sides against structures in their environment
  • Blackfish have large, blunt teeth that allow them to crush through hard shells
  • Juvenile blackfish are often mistaken for black sea bass, and vice versa. Pay close attention to the size and orientation of the mouth. Blackfish have a much smaller mouth, eyes, and fins relative to body size than the black sea bassA blackfish looking directly at the camera in the fish tank