Kingfish - Menticirrhus spp.

*Information from FAO Species Identification Guide Western Central Atlantic*

Maximum over 60 cm; common 30 to 35 cm.
Habitat, biology, and fisheries

Found in shallow coastal waters over sand to sandy mud bottoms; rather common in the surf zone and in estuaries; juveniles may enter tidal rivers and creeks of low salinity (less than 1‰). Feeds on bottom-dwelling organisms, mainly worms and crustaceans. Caught mainly with bottom trawls, pound nets, and seines; also by anglers. No special fishery, but caught along with other Menticirrhus species; important fishing grounds are located to the north of the area. Marketed mostly fresh, an excellent foodfish.

Gulf of Maine to northern Argentina, common from Chesapeake Bay to Florida, and in Gulf of Mexico from Cape Sable, Florida to Bay of Campeche, Mexico, Caribbean coast to southern Brazil, not common in Venezuela, few records from the greater Antilles, none from the lesser Antilles.