Fish Profiles: Porkfish

Fish Profiles: Porkfish

In this blog we explore one of the many species of sweetlips. Today we look at the porkfish, Anisotermus virgincus.

Scientific name: Anisotremus virginicus
Family: Haemulidae
Kingdom: Animalia
Order: Perciformes
Phylum: Chordata


The pork fish, anisotermus virgincus, is native to the western Atlantic. They belong to the grunt family. The Porkfish is also commonly referred to as the Atlantic porkfish sweetlips, dogfish or paragrate grunt.

This porkfish is one of the flashy grunts, a group of fish known for the sounds produced by the grinding of their pharyngeal teeth. Porkfish may be intimidated by more aggressive fish and should be kept with less-pugnacious tank mates. Provide them with plenty of swimming space in the aquarium in order for them to thrive.

When keeping Porkfish in a marine tank, it is recommended that the ideal aquarium size is 100-135 gallons, or around 500-600 litres. Porkfish are not really suited for reef aquariums. Porkfish will eat small prey, including snails, polychaete worms, hermit crabs, serpent stars and ornamental shrimps.

A porkfish diet comprises mainly of meaty food including chopped shrimp and mysis shrimp, both fresh and frozen. Porkfish are of minor commercial fisheries value, however they are considered a good gamefish. Human consumption of the flesh of porkfish has been linked to ciguatera poisoning.

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Photo credit(s): Canva pro license

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