Menticirrhus americanus

Menticirrhus americanus
Southern Kingfish – Menticirrhus americanus
FamilyScientific NameAuthorYearCommon Name
SciaenidaeMenticirrhus americanus(Linnaeus)1758Southern Kingfish

Menticirrhus americanus

Unique Characters: Side with 8 or 9 diffused saddle-like bars or dark blotches, second and third bars form a faint V below nape and spinous dorsal fin. Single barbel on tip of lower jaw. Body elongate and rounded in cross-section, belly flat. Anal fin with 1 short spine. Body silvery grey with dark oblique bars on sides; breast scales not much reduced in size. Pectoral fin longer, reaching to or beyond tip of pelvic fin. No stripes connecting eyes or below lateral line. Spinous dorsal fin lower, when depressed back not reaching to base of second soft ray.

Similar Species:

Gulf Kingfish
Menticirrhus littoralis

Northern Kingfish
Menticirrhus saxatilis

Menticirrhus littoralis
Gulf Kingfish – Menticirrhus littoralis
Menticirrhus saxatilis
Northern Kingfish – Menticirrhus saxatilis

Gulf Kingfish Menticirrhus littoralis. Single barbel on tip of lower jaw. Body elongate and rounded in cross-section, belly flat. Anal fin with 1 short spine. Body uniformly silvery; breast scales (below pectoral-fin base and pelvic-fin origin) much smaller than those along lateral line. Pectoral fin short, usually not reaching to tip of pelvic fin.

Northern Kingfish Menticirrhus saxatilis. Single barbel on tip of lower jaw. Body elongate and rounded in cross-section, belly flat. Body silvery grey with dark oblique bars on sides; breast scales not much reduced in size. Pectoral fin longer, reaching to or beyond tip of pelvic fin. Anal fin with 1 short spine. Side with 7 or 8 distinct oblique bars, second and third bars form a V below spinous dorsal fin, a longitudinal stripe below lateral line extending to tip of caudal fin; spinous dorsal fin high, when depressed back, its tip reaching beyond base of fourth soft dorsal-fin ray.

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