Atlantic Croaker

Information from FAO Species Identification Guide Western Central Atlantic

Atlantic Croaker - Micropogonias undulatus

Atlantic croaker

Diagnostic characters: A medium-sized fish, slightly elongate and moderately compressed. Mouth moderately large, subterminal, snout projecting; maxilla reaching belowmiddle of eye.Teeth villiform, set in bands on jaws, outer-row teeth in upper jaw slightly enlarged.Chin with 8 pores and 3 to 4 pairs of small barbels along inner edges of lower jaw; snout with 10 to 12 pores (5 to 7 rostral and 5 marginal). Gill rakers 22 to 29 (usually 23 to 26), rather short and slender.Preopercle margin serrate with 3 to 4 strong spines at its angle.Spinous dorsal fin with 10 spines, posterior portion with 1 spine and 27 to 30 (usually 28 or 29) soft rays; anal fin with 2 spines and 8 or 9 (rarely 7) soft rays; caudal fin double emarginated in adults. Gas bladder with a pair of tube-like lateral appendages, originated from lateral wall in middle and extend forward to front end of bladder. Sagitta round and thick, inner surface with granulated outcrop; lapillus rudimentary. Scales ctenoid on body and few top of head, cycloid on head; soft dorsal fin naked except a row of scales along its base. Colour: silvery with a pinkish cast, back and upper sides greyish, with black spots forming irregular, discontinuous wavy dots or reticulated lines, mostly above lateral line; spinous portion of dorsal fin with small dark dots and a black edge; other fins pale to yellowish. Inner side of gill cover dusky.


Size: Maximum 50 cm; common to 30 cm.


Habitat, biology, and fisheries: Found over mud and sandy mud bottoms in coastal waters to about 100 m depth and in estuaries where the nursery and feeding grounds are located. Feeds on bottom-dwelling organisms, mainly worms, crustaceans, and fishes.Caught mainly with bottom trawls, pound nets, gill nets, trammel nets, and seines, and by anglers. Juveniles and young constitute 50% of by catches by shrimp trawlers in the Gulf of Mexico. FAO statistics report landings ranging from 551 to 1 396 t from 1995 to 1999. Marketed mostly fresh, a good foodfish.


Distribution: Atlantic coast from Cape Cod to Florida, Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Bay of Campeche, Mexico.

ChesMMAP Atlantic Croaker Catch By Cruise Map

ChesMMAP Atlantic Croaker Catch By Year Map

NEAMAP Atlantic Croaker Catch By Cruise Map

NEAMAP Atlantic Croaker Catch By Year Maps

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