Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Cynoscion nebulosus, Spotted Seatrout, Spotted Weakfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

back & D: scattered spots
D2: 2-3 rows scales along base
C slighly concave
inner lower teeth uniform size, close-set
pectoral < pelvic
body scales large, rough, = / > LL scales

Cynoscion nebulosus (Cuvier in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1830)

Spotted Seatrout, Spotted Weakfish

Elongate and moderately compressed; mouth large, oblique, lower jaw slightly projecting; teeth in multiple rows with 2 large canines at tip of upper jaw, inner row of teeth on lower jaw close set, enlarged, uniform in size; gill rakers short and slender, 9-12; no pores or barbels on chin; 2 pores on side of snout; preoperculum smooth; top corner of gill opening notched; dorsal rays IX-X + I, 25-28; anal rays II (weak),10-11; pectoral fins < pelvic fins; rear margin of tail straight to slightly concave; scales on body large and rough; body scales equal to or larger than lateral line scales; soft dorsal without scales except for 2-3 rows along its base; lateral line arched anteriorly and straight well before level of anus, extends to the center of the end of the tail fin.

Body silvery grey; numerous round black spots irregularly scattered on upper half of body and dorsal and tail fins; upper rays of pectoral, spinous dorsal dusky, other fins yellowish.

Size: reaches 70 cm; IGFA record 7.9 kg; max age 18 y.

Inhabits sand bottoms of estuaries and coastal areas, often in seagrass beds, marshes and high-salinity tidal pools.

Depth: 1-18 m.

New York to the SW Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Beach
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
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
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 70
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 18