Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Sciaenidae
(Drums or croakers)
Etymology: Cynoscion: Greek, kyon = dog + Greek, odous = teeth + Greek, skion, skiaina = barbel, red mullet (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; brackish; demersal; non-migratory (Ref. 94474); depth range 10 - ? m (Ref. 9988). Subtropical; 42°N - 15°N, 83°W - 70°W (Ref. 94474)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - 35 cm
Max length : 100.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); common length : 36.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3702); max. published weight: 7.9 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 18 years (Ref. 12193)
(total): 9 - 11;
soft rays: 10 - 11. Body silvery, dark grey on back with bluish reflections and numerous round black spots irregularly scattered on upper half, extending to dorsal and caudal fin. Spinous dorsal fin dusky, other fins pale to yellowish. Mouth large, oblique lower jaw projecting. Upper jaw with a pair of large canine-like teeth at tip. Lower jaw with an enlarged inner row of teeth, uniform in size and closely set. Chin without barbels or pores. Snout with 2 marginal pores. Gas bladder with a pair of nearly straight horn-like appendages. Soft portion of dorsal fin unscaled (Ref 51721).
Western Atlantic: New York to southern Florida in USA and the entire Gulf of Mexico. Northeastern Atlantic: recently reported from Guadalquivir River estuary in Spain (Ref. 94474).
Inhabits river estuaries and shallow coastal marine waters over sand bottoms, often associated with seagrass beds. Also occurs in salt marshes and tidal pools of high salinity. Feeds mainly on crustaceans and fishes. An important food and sport fish throughout its range. Utilized fresh for steaming, broiling and baking (Ref. 9988).
Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986. A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 354 p.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.0 ±0.66 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.2-0.3; tmax=18; tm=1; Fec=1 million).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (58 of 100) .