Tomtate: Haemulon aurolineatum


  • Body gray to tan on back, fading to a white or silvery belly
  • Yellow-brown stripe extending length of body from snout to tail
  • Typically with another narrow yellow-brown stripe above lateral line extending from nape to end of second dorsal fin
  • Large black spot at base of tail (can be faded in larger individuals)
  • Inside of mouth lined with bright orange or red
  • Young have several dark brown stripes extending the length of the upper body


Common on offshore reefs and coastal waters


Audible grunting is produced by grinding of the pharyngeal teeth, with air bladder acting as amplifier

Fishing Tips and Facts:

  • Sizes up to 10 inches
  • Feed on invertebrates, small fishes, and zooplankton
  • Easily caught on small hooks baited with squid or cut bait

Additional Information

Similar species include other grunts

Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles

FWC Facts:
White-tailed deer are the most important game species in Florida.

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