Beautiful Fish: Short Big-eye -By Al Bezanson
The most striking characters of this fish are its very large eyes and its brilliant red color. Apart from these, it is distinguishable from the sea bass tribe by the fact that its whole head, as well as its body, is clothed with rough scales and that the anal fin is longer than the soft-rayed portion of its dorsal fin. Its sidewise flattened body, unusually stout dorsal fin spines, very large ventral fins, and small pectorals, are ready field marks to separate it from the rosefish, the only common Gulf of Maine species of similar appearance that rivals it in color.
Occurrence in the Gulf of Maine—
A big-eye found alive on Marblehead Beach, September 3, 1859; a second, found at Scituate, Mass., in 1932 or 1933; and a third, about 1½ inches (38 mm.) long, picked up in a tide pool at Cohasset, Mass., by F. G. Bemis in September 1937, are the only definite records for this southern fish within the Gulf. But since it occasionally appears in some numbers at Woods Hole in summer, it may round Cape Cod more often than this paucity of actual records suggests.
From Fishes of the Gulf of Maine by Bigelow and Schroeder (1953) online courtesy of MBL/WHOI http://www.gma.org/fogm/Pseudopriacanthus_altus.htm