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Species: Uraspis secunda, Cottonmouth jack

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

dark, +/- bars
D & A: no rear finlets
inside mouth white
pectoral > head
straight part LL: rear scutes point forwards

Uraspis secunda (Poey, 1860)

Cottonmouth jack

Oblong, moderately compressed; snout rounded; mouth reaches under front part of eye; teeth small, pointed, curved, in bands in small fish, 1 row in large fish; gill rakers (excluding rudiments) 3-8 + 13-16; dorsal rays VIII+I, 27-32, first dorsal a low triangle, posterior spines of first dorsal fin may become embedded with growth); anal rays II (embedded in all but very young fish) + I, 19-23; pectorals longer than head, curved; no isolated finlets behind dorsal and anal fins; anal spines reduced or absent; tail base slender; tail strongly forked; with 26-40 small scutes (hard, spiny scales) on straight part of lateral line, those at rear point forwards; small scales over most of body, absent on breast and on base of pectoral, operculum partly scaled; lateral line with pronounced arch anteriorly.

Body dusky, sometimes with 6 broad dark bars with narrow pale spaces between them; tongue, roof and floor of mouth white, remainder of mouth blue black.

Size: grows to about 50 cm.

Habitat: coastal pelagic, typically occurs in small schools.

Depth: 1-116 m.

Atlantic and Pacific; New Jersey to Brazil.

Note: Probably not a synonym of Uraspis helvola.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Surface
  • Near Surface
  • Mid Water
  • Water column only
  • Water column
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
  • Pelagic crustacea
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Atlantic + Pacific Oceans
  • All species.
Regional Endemism
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • All species..
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • Also in Brazil
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Extends South of GC
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 50
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 116