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Species: Brevoortia patronus, Gulf Menhaden

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shoulder: strong spot then a row small spots
pelvic fin: rounded edge, inner rays ~ = outer rays
belly scutes 28-32

Brevoortia patronus Goode, 1878

Gulf Menhaden

Deep bodied, compressed; head, and especially the gill cover, large; mouth large, upper jaw with a distinct central notch into which the tip of the lower jaw fits; adults without jaw teeth; gill rakers long, fine, numerous, those on upper part of gill arch overlapping those on lower arm; dorsal and anal fins short, anal origin under or behind last dorsal ray; pelvics i, 6; its rear margin rounded, inner rays nearly equal to outer rays when fin is folded back; a forked tail fin; belly midline fully covered with a keel of scutes (hard, spiny scales), 28-32 scutes; scales rough, large, 42-48 in lateral series; scales on upper tail base and base of tail fin a little smaller and a little irregularly spaced; back before dorsal fin with a ridge along the midline formed by a double line of modified scales.

Blue grey above, brassy green on sides; a black spot just behind upper corner of operculum, often followed by a series of smaller spots; fins yellow-green, a dark margin to tail fin.

Reaches 35 cm.

Marine, inshore pelagic.

Depth range: 0-60 m.

The Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Phytoplankton
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
  • Gulf of Mexico endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 35
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 60