Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Dorosoma cepedianum, American Gizzard Shad, Gizzard Shad

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snout bulbous, fleshy, overhangs mouth
A 25-36
lateral scales 52-70

Dorosoma cepedianum (Lesueur, 1818)

Gizzard Shad, American Gizzard Shad

Body deep, compressed; snout bulbous, bulging out past mouth; mouth small, slightly overhung by snout, with notch between front of upper jaws; sides of lower jaw curved in below when viewed from front; last dorsal fin ray long, filamentous; anal fin longer than head, 25-36 rays, origin just behind base of dorsal fin; pelvic fins on the abdomen below the dorsal fin, i,7; a forked tail fin; scales small, somewhat irregular, 52-70 (usually 58-65) in lateral series; ventral profile a strongly convex keel of scutes.

Dark blue above, grading to a white belly; 6-8 dark stripes along upper sides; a black spot a little behind upper edge of operculum.

Size: 50 cm.

Habitat: lives in rivers and freshwater lakes; but also found in brackish water.

Depth: 0-33 m.

New York to the Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Phytoplankton
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 50
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 33