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Species: Merluccius bilinearis, Silver Hake

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head 24-27% SL
D2 37-42
gill rakers 16-18, long & pointed



Merluccius bilinearis (Mitchill, 1814)

Silver Hake

Body elongate, compressed, tapering to a narrow tail base; head large (24-27% of SL) and flattened, with a V shape crest on top; large eyes and mouth, lower jaw slightly projecting; jaw teeth long, strong and pointed, in 2 irregular rows; teeth on center but not sides of roof of mouth; 16-18 long, pointed gill rakers; 2 separate dorsal fins, the 1st shorter and triangular, the 2nd with a long base (37-42 rays)and partly divided by a notch; anal fin similar to 2nd dorsal fin, 37-42 rays; well developed, non filamentous pelvic fins, 7 rays, situated before the pectorals; tail fin short, slightly forked; scales small; 101-110 scales on the lateral line.

Grey above, the remainder silvery white.

Size: 76 cm.

Habitat: on and nocturnally pelagic above soft bottoms; in estuaries and onto and below the continental shelf.

Depth: 55-914 m.

Florida to Newfoundland.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Water column
  • Estuary
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • 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
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Near threatened
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 76
Depth Range Min
  • 55
Depth Range Max
  • 914