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Title: Polyprionidae  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Perciformes, Bass (fish), List of fish families, Atlantic wreckfish, Giant sea bass, List of fishes of Great Britain, Bass groper, Hāpuku
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Atlantic wreckfish, Polyprion americanus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Polyprionidae

See table for genera and species.

The wreckfish are a family, Polyprionidae, of perciform fish.

They are deep-water marine fish and can be found on the ocean bottom, where they inhabit caves and shipwrecks (thus their common name). Their scientific name is from Greek poly meaning "many" and prion meaning "saw", a references to their prominent spiny fins. They stay together in schools of at least five.

The fish is commonly known as chernia in Spanish-speaking Latin America.

In popular culture

Wreckfish was the secret ingredient on the May 1, 2011, episode of the Food Network's Iron Chef America and then on the September 20, 2011, and December 27, 2011, episodes of Chopped Champions.


The six species in two genera are:

Genus Binomial name and author Common name
Oken (ex Cuvier) 1817
P. americanus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801) Atlantic wreckfish
P. moeone Phillipps, 1927 Bass groper
P. oxygeneios (Schneider & Forster, 1801) Hapuku
P. yanezi de Buen, 1959
Ayres 1859
S. doederleini Lindberg & Krasyukova, 1969
S. gigas Ayres, 1859 Giant sea bass


  • Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). FishBase. January 2006 version.
  • FishBase Species List and images. Polyprionidae. Accessed at 2 May 2009.
  • eol - Encyclopedia of Life taxon
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