| Ecological Descriptors
| Co, R, S, M
|| Cru, Wor, Cor Noct
|| I, (Sh)
Jack- Knife Fish
Adults: Body oblong, deep at front, tapering to a thin tail base. Elongated first dorsal fin black anteriorly and white posteriorly. Rear dorsal, anal and tail fins white/ yellow lacking spots (cf. Spotted Drum). Pectoral fins clear. Body whitish often with yellow tint, having 3 broad, white-edged black oblique bars, 1 through eye, 1 from nape to pelvic fin and 1 from the 1st dorsal that angles back to form a stripe that runs through the tail
Juveniles: Body white to yellowish, edges of black bars yellow, last body bar through dorsal to tail fin; a thin black line on tip of snout; pectoral fin clear. Head with black bar on the nose(differentiates from similar Spotted Drum juvenile which has a spot.
Less common here than Spotted Drums or High Hats from the same biological family. Secretive around reefs and wrecks, on sandy and muddy bottoms - usually under ledges etc during the day, usually emerging at night to feed mainly on crabs and shrimps, but also on snails/ gastropods and worms/ polychaetes. Either individual or can be found in foraging groups.
Depth often cited as 2-230m (6-700ft), but tend to be found >(30m) 90/ 100ft around Antigua.
Jacknife fish are gonchoric (fixed sexes throughout life), with external fertilization . They are oviparous, in that the young hatch after the parent has laid the eggs. They do not guard their eggs, which are scattererd in open water and with no parental care for the young.
D. Robertson & J. Van Tassell
Jacknife Fish Juvenile