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Centropomus undecimalis1.jpg

Centropomus is a genus of fish in the family Centropomidae, commonly known as snooks. These fish are found in the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, primarily in tropical and subtropical regions. They are known for their distinctive elongated bodies, large mouths, and prominent lateral lines.

Description[edit | edit source]

Members of the genus Centropomus typically have a streamlined body shape, which aids in their predatory lifestyle. They possess a large, upward-facing mouth equipped with sharp teeth, which they use to capture prey. The dorsal fin is divided into two parts: the anterior part is spiny, while the posterior part is soft-rayed. The lateral line is well-defined and extends from the gill cover to the tail.

Species[edit | edit source]

The genus Centropomus includes several species, some of the most notable being:

Habitat[edit | edit source]

Centropomus species are typically found in coastal waters, estuaries, and lagoons. They prefer environments with structures such as mangroves, seagrass beds, and rocky outcrops, which provide shelter and hunting grounds. Some species are known to enter freshwater systems.

Diet[edit | edit source]

Snooks are carnivorous and primarily feed on smaller fish, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. They are ambush predators, relying on their speed and stealth to capture prey.

Reproduction[edit | edit source]

The reproductive behavior of Centropomus species involves spawning in estuarine environments. They exhibit a form of sequential hermaphroditism, where individuals may change sex during their lifetime. Typically, they start as males and later become females as they grow larger.

Fishing and Conservation[edit | edit source]

Snooks are popular targets for recreational fishing due to their fighting ability and culinary value. However, overfishing and habitat destruction have led to declines in some populations. Conservation efforts include fishing regulations, habitat restoration, and the establishment of marine protected areas.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD