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Species: Micropogonias undulatus, Atlantic Croaker

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back: dark spots, flank - oblique lines
pectoral base dark
D 27-30
D origin to LL 8-9 scales

Micropogonias undulatus (Linnaeus, 1766)

Atlantic Croaker

Moderately elongate and compressed; prominent, overhanging snout; mouth moderately large; teeth villiform, in bands, outer row teeth of upper jaw slightly enlarged; chin with 8 pores and 3-4 pairs of small barbels along inner edge of lower jaws; snout with 10-12 pores, 5-7 at front, 5 on side; margin of preopercle strongly serrated, 3-4 strong spines at the angle; gill rakers 22-29, short and slender; top corner of gill opening notched; dorsal rays X+I, 28-29 (27-30); anal rays II, 2nd spine strong, 8-9; tail margin a short, blunt point, both lobes slightly concave; 8-9 transverse scale rows between lateral line and origin of dorsal fin; the lateral line extends to the center of the end of the tail fin.

Silvery, with pinkish cast, darker above; dark spots scattered on back, oblique dark lines on flanks; spiny dorsal with dark dots, edge black; other fins pale to yellowish; pectoral base dark.

Size: to 50 cm.

Inhabits mud and sand bottoms in coastal waters; also in brackish estuaries.

Depth: 1-200 m.

Massachusetts to Yucatan.

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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
  • 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
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)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 50
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 200