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Species: Pogonias cromis, Black Drum

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head low, mouth under snout
barbels: chin - 3 pr, lower jaw - row 8-22
grey to v dark
juv: 4-5 dark bars, fins dark
preopercle smooth
A II, 5-7



Pogonias cromis (Linnaeus, 1766)

Black Drum

Body oblong, moderately deep, compressed; mouth under snout, nearly horizontal; chin with 5 pores and 3 pairs of barbells, lower jaw with a row of 8-22 barbells; teeth simple, in bands; lower teeth in throat molar-like, fused in triangular plate; gill rakers short and stout, 16-21; preopercle smooth; top corner of gill opening notched; dorsal fin with deep notch separating spiny and soft parts, XI slender spines, 19-22 rays; anal fin small, with II spines, 5-7 rays, second spine long (3/4 length of 1st ray) and stout; pectoral fin short, not reaching anus; tail edge straight to slightly concave; scales rough, except a few smooth below eyes, small on breast, soft dorsal with 2-3 rows of smooth scales along its base; the lateral line extends to the center of the end of the tail fin.

Silvery bronze to black; young and small adults with 4-5 black bars; pelvics and anal very dark.

Size to 150 cm; IGFA world record 51.3 kg.

Habitat sand and mud bottoms of coastal waters and surf zones, especially in areas near large river mouths; juveniles enter estuaries.

Depth: 1-50 m; usually shallow.

Maine to the Gulf of Mexico

Note: the brazilian sister species of P. cromis is P. courbina.

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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
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • 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
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 150
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 50