Cynoscion nebulosus

Super Group: 
Cuvier 1830
Otolithus nebulosus (Cuvier 1830)
Otolithus carolinensis (Valenciennes 1833)


Diagnosis_Genus: Cynoscion Gill. Body elongated and nearly fusiform. Caudal peduncle of moderate size. Head oblong-conical, with a scarcely convex snout. Eyes wholly in the anterior half of the head. Mouth oblique; the supramaxillars cease nearly under or little before the posterior borders of the orbits. Lower jaw protuberant. Preoperculum with its margin membranous and crenulated. Teeth distant and recurved, nearly uniserial in the lower jaw, in front preceded by an additional row ; nearly biserial in the upper jaw, and normally with a canine tooth on each side of the symphysis; one is generally deciduous. Anterior dorsal fin with generally nine or ten spines; posterior of normal size. Anal fin trapezoidal, with only one very slender spine apparent externally. Caudal fin subtruncated. Ventrals in the same relative position as those of Sciaena. Lateral line with a sigmoid flexure, tubular, in scales formed like those of the rest of the body. The pharyngeal bones are armed with acute teeth; those of the upper are considerably curved. The setae of the first ceratobranchials are slender; their teeth are rarely in more than one or two irregular rows, and are but slightly curved. The internal sides of the first and both sides of the remaining branchial arches have a row of appressed semioval plates, armed with curved teeth, increasing in size towards the margin; besides the row of marginal plates, the sides have also many smaller ones. This genus is somewhat allied to Sciaena, but differs especially in the protrusion of the lower jaw, the presence of symphyseal canine teeth in the upper, the character of the preoperculum, and the single slender spine of the anal fin. It is also nearly allied to the typical Otolithi, differing from them by the absence of canine teeth on the lower jaw, the condition of the margin of the preoperculum, the presence of only one anal spine, the character of the lateral line, and especially in the position of the ventral fins. Type. Cynoscion regalis Gill. Syn. Otolithus regalis Cuv. et Val.

Diagnosis_Species: Otolithus nebulosus Cuvier. Another species of otolith, which we ignore the origin, yet quite similar to leiarchus, but with a little more pointed snout, has round and cloudy spots scattered on the back, and longitudinal spots or across the shelves on second dorsal. Their canines are like in American species. Its tail is rhomboid. D. 9 – 1/25 ; A. 1/11 ; C. 17 ; P. 16 ; V. 1/5.

Other description: Dorsal spines (total): 9 - 11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 25-28; Anal spines: 2; Anal 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 (Fishbase).

Body_adults_length: 36-100 cm
Body_juveniles_length: < 35 cm
Body_juvenile_1 year_length: 250 mm (University of Southern Mississippi)
Body_juvenile_2 years_length: 300 mm (University of Southern Mississippi)
Body_adult_3 years_length: 400 mm (University of Southern Mississippi)
Body_juvenile_7-8 weeks_length: 25-50 mm (University of Southern Mississippi)
Body_larvae_preflexion_length: 2.25-3.38 mm (Ditty, 1989)
Body_larvae_flexion_length: 3.70-4.34 mm (Ditty, 1989)
Body_larvae_newly_hatched_length: 1.3-1.6 mm (University of Southern Mississippi)
Body_eggs_length: 0.7-0.98 mm (flmnh)
Weight_max: 7.9 kg (Fishbase)
Weight: 1-1.3 kg (


Cynoscion: Greek, kyon = dog + Greek, odous = teeth + Greek, skion, skiaina = barbel, red mullet (fishbase).

Type species

The type species of the genus Cynoscion is Johnius regalis (Bloch and Schneider 1801).


Cynoscion nebulosus lives in 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 (Fishbase).
Substrate: water
Habitat: coastal
Habitat: estuarine
Salinity: marine
Salinity: brackish
Depth: demersal
Depth: shallow
Depth: 0-10 m (flmnh)
Oxygen_level: oxic
Temperature: 13-24°C (

Life cycle

The maximum life span listed for Cynoscion nebulous is 18 years (fishbase).
Spotted seatrout reaches sexual maturity at one to two years (
Younger females may release 100,000 eggs and older, larger females may release a million eggs ( Fecundity increases with size, with each female producing 15,000 to 1,100,000 eggs per spawning event (flmnh).
Cynoscion nebulosus is a non migratory species (Fishbase).

Longevity: more than 3 years
Generation_time: 1 to 3 years (
Reproduction_mode: sexual
Fertility_period: seasonal (during spring and summer) (from mid-April to mid-September, University of Southern Mississippi)
Spawning_method: external fertilization in the water column
Fecondity_number_of_eggs_per_adult: 15 000-1 100 000 eggs (flmnh)

Feeding behaviour


Mode of locomotion

Motility: motile_swimming


Observation site(s)


Displaying 1 - 2 of 2
Association with... Region origin Name of site In reference...
Amyloodinium ocellatum Mississippi Sound
Amyloodinium ocellatum Gulf Coast Research Laboratory