Family: CENTROPOMIDAE, Snook, Snooks
The New World snooks (genus Centropomus) are generally medium-sized (35-120 cm), silvery perch-like fishes with oblong, elongate, compressed bodies; head pointed, with forehead oblique to concave; mouth large and protractile, lower jaw strongly protruding; margin of preopercle serrated; two well separated dorsal fins: VIII + I, 8-11; anal fin short, III strong spines, 5-8 soft rays; pelvics insert a little behind pectoral base, with I strong spine and 5 rays; strongly forked tail fin; large rough scales; lateral line, which usually is dark, extends to the end of the tail fin.
The family Centropomidae is composed of two subfamilies represented by the snooks (Centropomus) from the Americas and the barramundi (Lates) and its relatives from the Indo-west Pacific and African fresh waters. The two subfamilies contain four genera with about 23 species. There are five species in one neotropical genus in the Greater Caribbean, 4 W Atlantic and 1 endemic.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER ORRELL (2002)