Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Online Information System
Updated: 06/12/2008  

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Species Information          
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Perciformes  -  Sciaenidae  -  Sciaenops  -  Sciaenops ocellatus

Sciaenops ocellatus

All Families(148) All Genera(504) All Species(1287)
elongate, lower profile straight

snout overhangs horizontal mouth
iridescent copper

1-3 ocelli on top tail base

  A short
A 8-9, 2nd spine slender, 1/2 1st ray


Sciaenops ocellatus (Linnaeus, 1766)

Red Drum

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.

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