The spotted drumfish ( Equetus Punctatus ) is a small reef fish, a species in the family Sciaenidae. It is easy to spot one when diving, as the head and first dorsal fin have vertical white and dark brown bars, which bend to form horizontal stripes on the body. They are solitary, often seen at the base of the reefs, easily approachable.
Range & Habitat
The spotted drumfish is found in the waters of the occidental Atlantic Ocean, from South Florida to Brazil including the Bahamas, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. It is a common fish to see when diving between 3-30 meters depth in Sosua, under ledges and near small caves by the reef.
Size & Diet
It has a maximum length of 27cm and a common length of 18cm. The spotted drum is a nocturnal feeder, leaving the protection of its daily shelter to feed mainly on small crustaceans ( shrimp and crabs ) and polychaete worms.
Spotted drumfish are dioecious, with separate sexes, and fertilization is external. They are oviparous, in that the young are hatched after the parent has laid the eggs. They belong to the reproductive guild of non guarders and egg scatterers in open water; there is no parental care for the young.
Spotted drumfish frisk through the sand in search for food, resulting in the water around them having a cloudy appearance. They do this to shake up detritus in the sand. Spotted drumfish make drum noises as a mating call and to communicate with each other.