Saltwater_Atlantic Spadefish

Atlantic Spadefish: Chaetodipterus faber


  • A silvery fish with 4 to 6 black vertical bands on each side which sometimes become obscure in larger fish
  • Deep, flattened body
  • Separated first and second dorsal fins
  • Concave caudal fin
  • Anterior rays of second dorsal fin and anal fin are elongated


Inshore and nearshore speices, these fish are found around natural and artificial reefs; especially near navigation markers in 15 to 20 feet of water.


Atlantic spadefish spawn in the spring and summer and travels in large schools.  Small juveniles are almost totally black and are known to drift on their sides and mimic floating debris.  These fish feed on crustaceans, small encrusting invertebrates, and may nibble on tentacles of jellyfish.

Additional Information

State Record: This species is not currently eligible for a state record.

Fishing Tips and  Facts: Though there are no close resemblances, these fish are frequently and mistakenly called angelfish.

Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles

FWC Facts:
Smalltooth sawfish double their length from 2.5 feet at birth to 5 feet by the end of their first year in Florida’s estuarine nurseries.

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