Spottail pinfish

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Spottail pinfish
Spottail Pinfish fishing.jpg
A spottail pinfish after caught by an angler.
Scientific classification
D. holbrookii
Binomial name
Diplodus holbrookii
(Bean, 1878)
  • Sargus holbrookii (Bean, 1878)
  • Diplodus holbrooki (common misspelling)

The spottail pinfish (Diplodus holbrookii) is an ocean-going species of fish in the family Sparidae. It is also known as the Spottail seabream. Along with other members of their family, Spottail pinfish are occasionally eaten and considered by some to be a panfish.[1]

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

T. H. Bean, who described the Spottail pinfish.
John Holbrook, for whom the Spottail pinfish was named .

The Spottail pinfish was described in 1878 by Tarleton Hoffman Bean, an ichthyologist who worked mainly on the Connecticut coast. He originally placed it in the genus Sargus, but it was later moved to Diplodus. Bean named the Spottail pinfish after John Edwards Holbrook, a zoologist who had died 7 years before.


Spottail pinfish are almost totally gray in color, with a large, black spot on the distal end of the caudal peduncle.[2] This is similar to other members of its genus, Diplodus annularis and Diplodus sargus -though D. sargus has several vertical bars that the Spottail pinfish does not.

Diplodus sargus, a similar species which common to areas where Spottial pinfish are found.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Spottail pinfish are exclusive to the western Atlantic ocean. They can be found from Chesapeake bay to southern Florida. Spottail pinfish are also known from the northern Gulf of Mexico, but are not known from the West Indies.[3] There are only questionable reports from Cuba.[4]

Spottail pinfish are common to shallow waters (only as deep as 28m) near coasts, such as bays and harbors, though only rarely in brackish areas. They prefer flat, vegetated bottoms such as beds of sea grass,[3] where they feed on a mixture of plants (such as Thalassia)[2] and small invertebrates.[5]


Spottail pinfish school in small numbers, but generally mix with many other species such as the Porkfish, Gray snapper, Bluestriped grunt, Sailor's grunt, and the Bucktooth parrotfish.[2]


Spottail pinfish readily eat several baits such as shrimp (live or artificial), squid, and clams. Usually they are a pest fish when trying to catch a larger fish.


  1. ^ Jordan, David. Barton Evermann. American Food and Game Fishes. New York. Doubleday, Page & Company. 1923. pg. 444
  2. ^ a b c Longley, William H. ed. Samuel F. Hilderbrand. Systemic Catalogue of the Fishes of Tortugas, Florida with Observations on Color, Habits, and Local Distribution. Washington D. C. Carnegie Institution of Washington. 1941. pg. 133
  3. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2009). "Diplodus holbrookii" in FishBase. 09 2009 version.
  4. ^ Claro, R. and L.R. Parenti 2001 The marine ichthyofauna of Cuba. p. 21-57. In: Claro, R., K.C. Lindeman and L.R. Parenti (eds) Ecology of the marine fishes of Cuba. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London. 253p.
  5. ^ Pike, L.A. and D.G. Lindquist 1994 Feeding ecology of spottail pinfish (Diplodus holbrooki) from an artificial and natural reef in Onslow Bay, North Carolina. Bull. Mar. Sci. 55(2-3):363-374.

External links[edit]