- Body covered in bright yellow spots with blue-olive back and white belly
- Large yellowish crest on top of head
- Blue line directly underneath eye
- Long continuous soft dorsal fin along most of body length
- Preopercle spine reduced to a soft blunt tab
Other tilefish species, such as blueline tilefish (Caulolatilus microps), no enlarged flap on top of head; has a prominent preopercle spine.
Up to 40 inches and 55 pounds; common to 24 inches and 15 pounds.
Offshore along slopes and shelves from 250 to 1500 feet deep. Over mud or sand bottom and occasionally over rough bottom.
Tilefish reside in burrows that are enlarged by individual fish to accommodate their size as they grow and mature. Tilefish are known to congregate, with burrows located in close proximity to each other. Burrows also provide habitat for benthic species, including mollusks and crustaceans.
Feed on invertebrates such as shrimp and crabs, and small fish.
Slow-growing, long-lived fish up to 20-32 years.
Spawning peaks in June (Mid-Atlantic) and from April to June (South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico). Females release 2 to 8 million eggs.