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Species: Cynoscion leiarchus, Smooth Weakfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

D2 & C: black edges
D2 1-2 basal rows scales
C straight/doubly concave
inner lower teeth: uniform size, close-set
A 10-12
pectoral < pelvic
body scales small, smooth, < LL scales

Cynoscion leiarchus (Cuvier in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1830)

Smooth Weakfish

Elongate, fusiform, compressed, oval cross-section; head low, not spongy on top; eye moderate; mouth large, oblique, lower jaw slightly projecting; teeth in multiple rows with 1-2 large canines at tip of upper jaw, inner row of teeth on lower jaw enlarged, of uniform size, close-set; gill rakers long and slender, 8-11; no pores or barbels on chin; 2 pores on side of snout; margin of preopercle smooth; top corner of gill opening notched; dorsal rays X + I, 20-24; anal rays II, weak spines, 10-12; pectoral fins < pelvic fins; rear margin of tail doubly concave to straight in adult; scales small, all smooth; 110 transverse rows above lateral line; soft dorsal with 1-2 rows of small scales on base, sometimes also small scales on lower half of membranes; lateral line arched anteriorly and straight well before level of anus, extends to the center of the end of the tail fin.

Body uniform silvery bluish with greenish reflections on back; upper sides with tiny dark dots; soft dorsal and tail fin edged in black; pelvic and anal fins yellowish; inside opercle dusky, visible externally.

Size: reaches 60 cm.

Inhabits sandy bottoms of coastal waters, common in surf zones and estuaries.

Depth: 1-50 m.

Panama to SE Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Beach
  • Estuary
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 60
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 50