These fish are bottom-feeding predators. They are named for their ability to produce sound by grinding their teeth. Many are important food fish. Many grunts and sweetlips are slow reproducing, and have a high vulnerability to ovefishing.
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- Max length 100 cm
- Juveniles become somewhat deeper-bodied with growth and at about 14 cm, lose the lower stripe and develop a cream-colored belly
- A 10-cm juvenile is orange with a broad black stripe, one running mid-laterally and the other along the upper sides. Adults are mainly gray with black fin markings. Older juveniles have yellow stripes
- Found in clear lagoons and seaward reefs, juveniles in shallow turbid coastal areas. Depth range 2 – 50 m
- Adults usually solitary, occasionally in pairs; on deep reefs or with sea mounts
- Very low resilience, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years
- High to very high vulnerability