Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Selene vomer, Lookdown, Atlantic Look Down, Lookdown Moonfish

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forehead profile straight, top angular
D & A lobes v elongate
juv: 4-5 faint interrupted bars

Selene vomer (Linnaeus, 1758)

Lookdown, Atlantic Look Down, Lookdown Moonfish

Body short, very deep in adults, depth at 2nd dorsal origin 46-52% of fork length extremely compressed; upper and lower profiles similar; head profile very steep and straight, angular at top, steeply sloping to mouth at bottom profile, lower jaw protruding; gill rakers 31-35; dorsal fin VIII (1st 4 spines elongate in juveniles, with 2nd spine = 2.5X fork length) + I, 20-23, front lobe very long in juvenile, ~ ½ fork length in adults; anal fin II (in juveniles only) + I, 17-20, front lobe elongated; pelvic fins very small; no finlets after 2nd dorsal and anal fins; pectoral long, curved; tail base slender; tail strongly forked; straight part of lateral line with poorly developed, small scutes (hard spiny scales); scales very small, imbedded in skin, body appears scaleless.

Silvery, back with bluey tint; small juveniles with elongate pelvic and dorsal spines black, a dark bar through eye, 4-5 broken bars on body.

Reaches 48.3 cm; all tackle world record 2.1 kg.

Marine, demersal, on shallow sandy and hard bottoms; juveniles in estuaries and off sandy beaches.

Depth range: 1-90 m.

Maine to Uruguay.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Water column
  • Beach
  • Estuary
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continental primarily
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 48.3
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 90