Body elongate, lower profile horizontal; snout overhangs small, horizontal mouth; teeth simple, in bands on jaws; chin without barbells, with 5 pores; snout with 10 pores; 12-14 short, stout gill rakers; preopercle smooth in adult, densely serrated in juvenile; dorsal fin continuous, IX + I, with deep notch between spines and rays, 23-25 soft rays; anal fin with short base, II, 8-9, 2nd spine slender, ~ ½ length of 1st ray; tail fin with straight edge in adult, angular point in juvenile; scales rough on body, smooth on head and breast; soft dorsal with 1-2 rows of scales along base.
Iridescent coppery silver, 1 to several ocellated eye-sized spots under soft dorsal fin and onto tail base.
Reaches 160 cm, 45 kg 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.