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Gramma loreto.jpg
Royal gramma, (Gramma loreto)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Grammatidae
D. S. Jordan & Evermann, 1896


Grammatidae (basslets) are a small family, of fishes in the order Perciformes. They are all small fish of the western Atlantic, typically no more than 10 centimetres (3.9 in) in length. Several species are colorful and popular for marine aquaria. They can also change their gender.

Distinctive features include a lateral line divided into two subsegments or missing entirely, and a sizeable pectoral fin with one spine.

A number of other species may be called "basslets", in particular members of Serranidae, where they may be called "fairy basslets".

Diet and habitat[edit]

A Gramma melacara taken in the Honduras

Living in coral environment, basslets are considered carnivorous fish. They will consume meaty foods such as fish, squid, and mysid shrimp.


An adult threeline basslet

The basslet is an aggressive and territorial fish. In an aquarium setting, it is ill-advised to keep more than one male in a single enclosure.


  1. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). "Grammatidae" in FishBase. August 2013 version.
  • Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc. "Blue Assessor Basslet". Animal Planet. Retrieved 2011-01-10.