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Polyprion americanus.png
Atlantic wreckfish, Polyprion americanus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Polyprionidae

See table for genera and species.

The wreckfish are a family, Polyprionidae, of perciform fish.

They are deep-water marine fish and can be found on the ocean bottom, where they inhabit caves and shipwrecks (thus their common name). Their scientific name is from Greek poly meaning "many" and prion meaning "saw", a references to their prominent spiny fins. They stay together in schools of at least five.

Wreckfish (Polyprion americanus) are a long-lived commercial species in the Mediterranean, the south-eastern Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean.[1]

The fish is commonly known as chernia in Spanish-speaking Latin America, and as cherne in Portugal.


The six species in two genera are:

Genus Binomial name and author Common name
Oken (ex Cuvier) 1817
P. americanus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801) Atlantic wreckfish
P. moeone Phillipps, 1927 Bass groper
P. oxygeneios (Schneider & Forster, 1801) Hapuku
P. yanezi de Buen, 1959
Ayres 1859
S. doederleini Lindberg & Krasyukova, 1969
S. gigas Ayres, 1859 Giant sea bass


  1. ^ Sedberry, George R.; et al. (1999). "Wreckfish Polyprion americanus in the North Atlantic: fisheries, biology, and management of a widely distributed and long-lived fish" (PDF). American Fisheries Society Symposium. 23: 27–50. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  • Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). "Polyprionidae" in FishBase. January 2006 version.
  • FishBase Species List and images. Polyprionidae. Accessed at 2 May 2009.