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Species: Centropomus pectinatus, Tarpon snook

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout upturned
lower gill rakers 14-17
pectoral 13-15, << pelvic
A III, 7, 2nd spine straight/slightly sigmoid + tip slightly curved forwards,<3rd
pelvic - dark tip
scales: 61-72 laterals, LL to A origin 9-13, D2 to LL 11-14

Centropomus pectinatus Poey, 1860

Tarpon snook

Body oblong, compressed, deep; upper head profile concave, front upturned; mouth large and protractile, lower jaw protruding; teeth small, in bands; margin of preopercle serrated; gill rakers 22-28, 14-17 lower rakers; dorsal rays VIII + I, 9 (rarely 8 or 10), 3rd spine > 4th; anal fin short, III strong spines, 7-8 (usually 7), 2nd anal spine straight or slightly sigmoid, with tip curved forwards, not reaching to tip of 3rd when erect, nor to base of tail fin when depressed; pectoral soft rays 13-15, fin much shorter than pelvic; pelvics insert a little behind pectoral base, with I strong spine and 5 rays; tips of pelvic fins reach to or past anus; scales large, rough, lateral scales (immediately above lateral line) 61-72 (usually 64-67); scales from lateral line to origin of 2nd dorsal fin 9-13 (usually 10-12), 11-14 between lateral line and anal fin origin; lateral line extends to the end of the forked tail fin.

Overall yellow-brown to greenish-brown above, silvery below; dark lateral line; fins dusky; pelvic with a large dark spot or mark near tip.

Size: to 56 cm.

Inhabits bays, estuaries, lagoons, entering freshwater; prefers low salinity to freshwater over marine conditions.

Depth: 0-15 m.

Florida to southern Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Near Bottom
  • Mid Water
  • Bottom + water column
  • Beach
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Water column
  • Mangrove
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
Global Endemism
  • All species.
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC non-endemic
  • Continent
  • All species..
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 56
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 15