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Equetus lanceolatus.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Sciaenidae
Genus: Equetus
Species: E. lanceolatus
Binomial name
Equetus lanceolatus
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Jack-knifefish Equetus lanceolatus distribution map.png
Jack-knifefish range.[3]

The jackknifefish (Equetus lanceolatus) is a small fish, typically between 6 and 9 inches, that can occasionally be found on coral reefs in the middle western Atlantic Ocean, in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida and the Bahamas.[citation needed]


When jackknifefish are young and small, they generally lives in rocks and coral hidden from predators. Generally they inhabit reef areas.

juvenile Jack-knifefish, Equetus lanceolatus
Jack-knifefish, Equetus lanceolatus


Jackknifefish are carnivorous fish that feed on crabs, shrimp and other small invertebrates.


This species of fish can live with other types of small fish, as it is not aggressive. Like other fishes of its family, it can produce "croaking" or "drumming" sounds.


Jackknifefish are typically black and white or dark brown and white.


  1. ^ NatureServe (2013). "Equetus lanceolatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Reefs". Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  3. ^ International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 2015. Equetus lanceolatus. In: IUCN 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. http://www.iucnredlist.org Archived 2014-06-27 at the Wayback Machine.. Downloaded on 23 July 2015.