Like most of the fish featured in this website, the Grunt is classified under the order Perciformes – the “ray finned” fishes. Perciformes are mostly gregarious fishes (found in groups) so it is not surprising that they would have some form of sound communication. The Grunt is from the Haemulidae family, which are characterized by (among other things) their making noise with “pharyngeal teeth” which are located in the gullet and may serve as a pre-digestive feature as well as a noise making feature.
Grunt may be a bit too prosaic a description of their sound (from which comes their name). It was probably characterized by the sound of the fish on the dock and not their sound in the water. More complexity is revealed in these underwater recordings.
Discovery of Sound in the Sea: Barred Grunt
FishBase.org: Barred Grunt Species Summary
Fish, M.P. and Mowbray, H.M. 1970. Sounds of Western North Atlantic Fishes. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins Press. p. 90.Hoese, H.D. and Moore, R.H. 1998. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico: Texas, Louisiana, and Adjacent Waters. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, Texas 77843
Robins, C.R. and Ray, G.C. 1986. Atlantic Coast Fishes. Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10003 p.177.