Main identification features
- elongatesnout overhangs horizontal mouth
- iridescent copper1-3 ocelli on top tail base
- chin - no barbel
- anal fin short
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.
Salinity: Marine; Brackish.
Water Column Position: Bottom;
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.
I thank Ashley MacDonald and John Pickering, University of Georgia, for technical support in building this page.
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Add your observation in
Common name (e.g. trout)
Genus + Species (e.g. Gadus morhua)
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) >
(Drums or croakers)
Greek, skiaina, skion = a fish, red mullet + Greek, ops = appearance (Ref.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; demersal; oceanodromous (Ref.
); depth range 10 - ? m (Ref.
). Subtropical; 43°N - 0°S
Western Atlantic: Massachusetts in USA to northern Mexico, including southern Florida, USA.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
, range 55 - 80.3 cm
Max length : 155 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref.
); common length : 100.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref.
); max. published weight: 45.0 kg (Ref.
); max. reported age: 50 years (Ref.
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.
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.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref.
Least Concern (LC)
; Date assessed:
01 December 2009
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
; publication :
Sea Around Us
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Check for Aquarium maintenance
Check for Species Fact Sheets
Check for Aquaculture Fact Sheets
Alien/Invasive Species database
Websites from users
Catalog of Fishes
IGFA World Record
Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes
| Reef Life Survey |
Tree of Life
) | World Records Freshwater Fishing |
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref.
): 15.5 - 27.3, mean 24.2 (based on 180 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref.
= 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.
Trophic Level (Ref.
): 3.7 ±0.57 se; Based on food items.
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.27; tmax=7; Fec~1 million).
): Moderate vulnerability (43 of 100) .
Price category (Ref.
Luna, Susan M.
Sampang-Reyes, Arlene G.
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