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Sciaenops ocellatus (Linnaeus, 1766)
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Sciaenops ocellatus
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Sciaenops ocellatus

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Main identification features
  • elongatesnout overhangs horizontal mouth
  • iridescent copper1-3 ocelli on top tail base
  • chin - no barbel
  • anal fin short
Red Drum

Body elongate (depth <1/4 standard length), lower profile nearly straight; snout overhangs small, horizontal mouth that ends under rear edge of eye; teeth simple, in bands on jaws; chin without barbells, with 5 pores; snout with 10 pores; gill rakers 12-14, short and stout; preopercle smooth in adult, but densely serrated in juvenile; dorsal fin continuous, but with deep notch between spines and rays XI, 23-25 ; anal fin with short base, II, 8-9, second spine Ż length of first ray; tail fin rhomboidal in juvenile, bluntly straight in adult; scales large and rough on body, smooth on head and breast, 1-2 rows of scales along base of dorsal fin; scales cover basal half of tail fin

Color: Iridescent coppery silver, 1 to several ocellated eye-sized spots under soft dorsal fin and onto tail base.

Reaches 160cm, 45kg weight

Habitat Sandy and muddy bottoms

Depth range 0-10 m

Native to the eastern US, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Introduced to Ecuador in 1974 for aquaculture purposes, escaped and still present there in the 1990s; its current status is not known.

Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo).
Depth Range Max: 10 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs); mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves; octopus/squid/cuttlefish; bony fishes.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=-3; Southern limit=-3; Western limit=-81; Eastern limit=-81; Latitudinal range=1; Longitudinal range=1.
Egg Type: Pelagic; Pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Carnivore.
FishBase Habitat: Demersal.
Global Endemism: West Atlantic Introducee; TEP non-endemic; All species.
Habitat: Estuary; Beach; Sand & gravel; Mud; Mangrove; Soft bottom (mud, sand,gravel, beach, estuary & mangrove); Soft bottom only.
Inshore Offshore: Inshore; Inshore Only.
IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed.
Length Max: 160 cm.
Regional Endemism: Eastern Pacific non-endemic; Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic; All species.
Residency: Resident.
Salinity: Marine; Brackish.
Water Column Position: Bottom;

Scientific source:

Links to other sites

  • Linnaeus, C., 1766., Systema naturae sive regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Laurentii Salvii, Holmiae. 12th ed., Systema Nat. ed. 12, 1:1-532.


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Common name (e.g. trout)

Genus + Species (e.g. Gadus morhua)

Sciaenops ocellatus (Linnaeus , 1766)

Red drum Add your observation in Fish Watcher
Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Sciaenops ocellatus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Pictures | Google image Image of Sciaenops ocellatus (Red drum) Sciaenops ocellatus
Picture by Lovshin, L.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes ( gen. , sp. ) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Sciaenidae (Drums or croakers)
Etymology: Sciaenops: Greek, skiaina, skion = a fish, red mullet + Greek, ops = appearance (Ref. 45335 ) .

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; brackish; demersal; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243 ); depth range 10 - ? m (Ref. 9988 ).   Subtropical; 43°N - 0°S

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Western Atlantic: Massachusetts in USA to northern Mexico, including southern Florida, USA.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: L m 86.3 , range 55 - 80.3 cm
Max length : 155 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3702 ); common length : 100.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3702 ); max. published weight: 45.0 kg (Ref. 9988 ); max. reported age: 50 years (Ref. 32563 )

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occurs usually over sand and sandy mud bottoms in coastal waters and estuaries. Abundant in surf zone. Feeds mainly on crustaceans, mollusks and fishes. Utilized fresh and frozen; can be pan-fried, broiled and baked (Ref. 9988 ).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray , 1986. A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 354 p. (Ref. 7251 )

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314 )

  Least Concern (LC)  ; Date assessed: 01 December 2009

CITES (Ref. 115941 )

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361 )

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless (Ref. 9988 )

Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums FAO(Aquaculture: production , species profile ; fisheries: production ; publication : search ) | FishSource | Sea Around Us

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Common names
Spawning aggregation
Egg development
Larval dynamics
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


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Internet sources

Alien/Invasive Species database | Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes ( gen. , sp. ) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank( genome , nucleotide ) | GloBI | GoMexSI (interaction data) | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | Public aquariums | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | RFE Identification | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | Wikipedia( Go , Search ) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969 ): 15.5 - 27.3, mean 24.2 (based on 180 cells). Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805 ):  PD 50 = 1.0000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high]. Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00871 (0.00555 - 0.01368), b=3.06 (2.93 - 3.19), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245 ). Trophic Level (Ref. 69278 ):  3.7   ±0.57 se; Based on food items. Resilience (Ref. 69278 ):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.27; tmax=7; Fec~1 million). Vulnerability (Ref. 59153 ):  Moderate vulnerability (43 of 100) . Price category (Ref. 80766 ):   High .

Entered by Luna, Susan M. Modified by Sampang-Reyes, Arlene G. Fish Forum
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