musselcracker, noun

Plurals:
musselcrackers, or unchanged.
Origin:
Named for its powerful jaws.
1. Any of three species of seabream of the Sparidae, the diet of which includes shellfish and crustaceans: a. The white steenbras (sense (a) see steenbras sense b), Lithognathus lithognathus. b. The black musselcracker (see sense 2 below), Cymatoceps nasutus. c. The white musselcracker (see sense 2 below), Sparodon durbanensis. In these senses also called mussel crusher.
1905 H.E.B. Brooking in E. London Dispatch 6 Nov. 7Judging by the enormous incisors, and the perfect pavement of rounded molars with which the jaws of these white steenbras are armed, these fish live largely upon shell-fish, hence the local name ‘mussel-cracker’ and Durban name ‘mussel-crusher’.
1993 Bennett & Attwood in Earthyear Winter 35Since the prohibition of angling in the De Hoop Marine Reserve in 1986, the populations of..white steenbras, blacktail, bronze bream, musselcracker, Cape stumpnose, wildeperd..have recovered to densities..comparable to those which were likely to have been experienced by anglers earlier this century.
2. With distinguishing epithet designating a particular species of seabream:
black musselcracker, Cymatoceps nasutus, a large fish known for its characteristic fleshy protuberance which gives it the appearance of having a nose; bank blouer, see blouer sense b; biskop sense 1 a; black biskop, blou biskop, or blue biskop, see biskop sense 2; black steenbras, see steenbras sense b; blouer sense a; blue poenskop, see poenskop sense 2 b; poenskop sense 2 a ii; stompkop sense a;
silver musselcracker or (more commonly) white musselcracker, Sparodon durbanensis, a large species considered a good game fish; biskop sense 1 b; brusher; cracker; sand blouer, see blouer sense b; silver steenbras, see steenbras sense b; stompkop sense b; white biskop, see biskop sense 2; white steenbras sense (b), see steenbras sense b; also attributive.
Note:
In Smith and Heemstra’s Smiths' Sea Fishes (1986), the name ‘black musselcracker’ is used for Cymatoceps nasutus, and ‘white musselcracker’ for Sparodon durbanensis.
1986 B. Grobbler in Cape Times 27 Mar.There is an unusually good run this year of poenskop or black musselcracker.
1993 R. Van der Elst Guide to Common Sea Fishes 369The white musselcracker is found in coastal waters, especially along rocky shores.
The white steenbras (sense (a) see steenbrasb), Lithognathus lithognathus.
The black musselcracker (see 2 below), Cymatoceps nasutus.
The white musselcracker (see 2 below), Sparodon durbanensis. In these senses also called mussel crusher.

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19051993