Porgy Family Photos and Information – Sparidae

The Porgy Family – Sparidae

Pacific Porgy, Calamus brachysomus, a representative member of the Porgy or Sparidae Family.

The fish of the Porgy or Sparidae Family are known in Mexico’s fishing areas as plumas. There are a total of one hundred sixteen global family members that have been placed in thirty-eight genera found in tropical and coastal waters of which eighteen species, seventeen in the Atlantic and one in the Pacific are found in Mexican waters. One third of the world’s population of Porgies is found in South African waters. They are very similar to the grunts (Haemulidae Family) however they have heavy very strong molariform teeth.

The Porgies are small to medium sized fish with oblong to oval deep compressed bodies, the largest being 75 cm (29.5 inches) but most are much smaller. Porgies have large heads with long face s having a steep upper profile with well-developed teeth that are either conical (canine-like) or flattened (incisor-like). They have 7 to 20 gill rakers on the lower arch. They have an anal fin with 3 spines (the second of which is often stout) and 7 to 15 soft rays, a caudal fin that is slightly concave to deeply forked, a single dorsal fin with 10 to 13 spines and 9 to 17 soft rays that are not separated by a notch, long and pointed pectoral fins and pelvic fins with one spine and 5 rays that are inserted just behind the pectoral fin base. They have a continuous lateral line that extended into the caudal fin base. The bodies are covered with either smooth or rough scales.

Porgies are highly variable in color and are either silvery or golden with pink, red, yellow or gray tinges. Many have dark or colored spots, stripes or bars.

Porgies are demersal inhabitants of the continental shelf and slope that are found in a variety of habitats including brackish estuaries, bays, coastal reefs and deeper waters. They form aggregations as juveniles with the mature adults becoming more solitary and moving to deeper waters. Some porgies are hermaphroditism undergoing a mid-life sex reversal from male to female. They feed on a variety of plants and animals, however benthic invertebrates such as crabs, mollusks, and urchins and their major foods.

The Porgies are an excellent food fish of notable commercial importance. For example the Western Central Pacific produces approximately 4,000 tons per annum.

Eleven Porgies from Mexican waters of the Atlantic and one porgy from Mexican waters of the Pacific  are currently included in this website.

Jolthead Porgy, Calamus bajonado
Knobbed Porgy, Calamus nodosus
Littlehead Porgy, Calamus proridens

Pacific Porgy, Calamus brachysomus
Pinfish, Lagodon rhomboides
Pluma Porgy, Calamus pennatula
Saucereye Porgy, Calamus calamus
Sea Bream, Archosargus rhomboidalis
Sheepshead, Archosargus probatocephalus
Sheepshead Porgy, Calamus penna
Silver Porgy, Diplodus argenteus
Spottail Pinfish, Diplodus holbrookii