Wildlife Fact Sheets




Lachnolaimus maximus

  • How Long I Live
    Up to about 11 years
  • Where I Like to Hang Out
    I like hard bottom areas on the ocean floor, including coral reefs, rocky ledges and artificial reefs like wrecks.
  • Where I Live
    Western Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea
  • What I Eat
    I’m not picky. I’m an opportunistic feeder, meaning I’ll eat what I can find, including clams, urchins and snails.

About Me

I get my unique name from my long, hog-like nose. My snout is not just for looks, though—I use it to root around in the sand to find buried mollusks and crustaceans. Because I spend most of my time on the ocean floor, it’s trickier for fishermen to nab me by hook and line. Instead, people resort to spearfishing to catch me. It’s worth the effort; apparently I make for very good eating. My white, flaky fillet makes me a restaurant favorite. I am overfished in part of my range, leading fishery managers to implement size and bag limits for fishermen so that my stocks can rebuild.

Did You Know?

We are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning we can switch from females to males when we get to a larger size. We also form little fish harems, where one male hangs out and mates with multiple females.


I like to hang out on the ocean floor so I can be close to my food. You can see us in small groups by reef edges around 10-100 feet below the surface. I particularly like areas with lots and lots of gorgonian corals.

Get To Know Me