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Species: Stellifer punctatissimus, Spotted Croaker

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body robust
blackish body & fins
preopercle 8-9 small teeth
D 22-25
gill rakers 7-8 + 13-16
A 7-8, 2nd spine thin, short
LL 52-54

Stellifer punctatissimus Meek & Hildebrand, 1925

Spotted Croaker

Body oblong, robust, with humped back, maximum body depth 33-35% of SL; head low and short, cavernous but firm to touch on top; distance between eyes 9-9.6% SL; snout overhangs small, horizontal mouth; teeth on lower jaw simple, in bands; chin without barbel, with 5 pores; snout with 10-12 pores; preopercle with 8-9 teeth, those at angle not much enlarged; gill rakers 7-8 + 11-16, slender, longest is <1/2 length of gill filament at angle of gill arch; top corner of gill opening notched; dorsal rays X-XI + I, 22-25; anal rays II, 7 (rarely 8), 2nd spine short, about ½ length of 1st ray; pectoral fin 24.8-25.5% SL; tail fin long, bluntly pointed; scales on body and all or most of head rough; soft dorsal and anal fins with 1-2 rows of scales along their bases and small scales on membranes for 3/4 distance from base; the lateral line extends to the center of the end of the tail fin; lateral line pores 48-54

Dark grey, paler below, but with dark scale edges; fins dark grey to blackish; inside gill cover dark, visible from outside.

Size: grows to 25 cm.

Inhabits coastal waters on sandy mud bottoms, especially around beaches.

Depth: 1-50 m.

Belize to NE Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Beach
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continental primarily
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-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
  • 25
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 50