Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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2 well separated Ds
C deeply forked
pelvic base: large scale
A: short base, III large spines
LL: to end of C



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.

Snooks are very common in mangrove areas and exhibit a wide tolerance to salinity fluctuations. They readily enter rivers and may occur in pure fresh water. Snooks feed on a wide variety of invertebrates and fishes. They are fine angling fishes and are good eating. They also form an important portion of the commercial catch in the region.

The family Centropomidae has two subfamilys, represented by the American snooks (Centropomus) and the W Pacific Barramundis (Lates) and its relatives in the Indo-W Pacific and the freshwaters of Africa. The two subfamilies include 4 genera and ~ 23 species.