| Ecological Descriptors
Silver body, often with shades of olive on back. The scales and belly may have bluish tints. Large dusky spot at base of pectoral fin. May have one or two gold spots on each side of head. Dark margin on tail. Dark tip to rear dorsal fin. Obvious scales.
This pelagic species is dependent on estuaries along sandy coasts and also occurs in littoral pools, muddy bottoms, brackish lagoons, sometimes over coral reefs. Juveniles are usually abundant in bays and estuaries with submerged vegetation. Juveniles are omnivorous and feed mainly on plankton. Juveniles and adults feed mostly on sediment particles, detritus, diatoms and algae. Hardy and capable of rapid growth. Its maximum size is 91 cm, but commonly to 35 cm
Its average lifespan is about 19 years. Males and females reach sexual maturity between 18-20.8 cm . Males reach maturity at about two years of age, and females at three years. It is hermaphroditic and eggs and sperm are released simultaneously. Spawning occurs offshore along the outer continental shelf.