Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Bairdiella ronchus, Ground Croaker

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flanks: faintly striped
A 8; 2nd spine thick, ~1st ray

Bairdiella ronchus (Cuvier in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1830)

Ground Croaker

Body elongate, oblong, compressed; head narrow, cavernous but firm to touch; eye large (21-24% of head length); snout pointed; moderately oblique large mouth opens slightly under snout; snout with 8 pores, 3 above and 5 on sides; chin with 5 pores, no chin barbel; teeth small, conical, in narrow bands on both jaws; gill rakers long and slender, 21-27 (usually 24-25), longest gill raker longer than ½ gill filament behind it; preopercle serrated, with a few strong spines at angle, the lowermost directed downwards; top corner of gill opening notched; dorsal fin deeply notched between spines and rays X-XI+I, 21-26; anal fin II, 8 (7-9), second spine very strong, as long as first ray; tail fin slightly rounded; scales rough on body and top of head, smooth on cheek; lower half of soft dorsal and inner 3/4 of soft anal scaled; pored lateral-line scales 54-59; the lateral line extends to the center of the end of the tail fin.

Color: greyish above, silvery below; faint dark streaks along sides (oblique above, horizontal below); dorsal and tail fins greyish with dark margins; front of anal fin speckled.

Size: reaches 35 cm.

Inhabits inshore shallows on sand and mud bottoms, entering brackish water.

Depth: 5-40 m, usually below 16 m.

The Caribbean to Guyana.

Note: The Gulf of Mexico population is a separate species, B. veraecrucis

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Beach
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 35
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 40