Perch-like fishes with concave snout profiles. Marine (often brackish); some in freshwater.

Important food fishes. Maximum length about 1.4 m.

Family now Includes only Centropomus with 12 species, (= former Centropominae). Hypopterus (1 sp.), Lates (9 spp.) and Psammoperca (1 sp.) are placed in a new family, Latidae (= former Centropomidae: Latinae).  Branchiostegal 7 rays.

Lateral line extends onto caudal peduncle, reaching posterior margin of fin (except in one species); some species with 3 rows on the tail. Pelvic axis usually with scaly process. Dorsal fin bipartite (either deeply notched or with a distinct gap); with 7 or 8 spines on the first part; 1 spine and 8-11 soft rays on the second. Anal fin 3 spines; 6- 9 soft rays. Pelvic fin 1 spine, 5 soft rays. Caudal fin rounded, truncate or forked.
Greek, kentron = thorn, sting + Greek, pomas, -atos = cover
Centropomus undecimalus