| Ecological Descriptors
|Dem, Pel, (Co, R, M, S, Man)
||Cru, Mol, Pisc
Adults: Large, oval shaped silver fish, bluish grey to iridescent blue above. High back profile. Sometimes a dark oval blotch on mid side. Pectorals, anal and tail fins blackish. Orangish area at start of anal fin. Deeply forked tail and sickle-shaped dorsal fin.
Juveniles: Changeable, black to silver with orange blotch at base of anal fin. Lobes of tail black.
Pelagic and demersal where it occurs in small schools or alone, usually in shallow water, often in channels or holes, on flats or reefs, or mud bottoms. It utilizes a range of habitats, including coastal mangroves and seagrass beds, reef flats, and fore-reef areas. Juveniles occur in large schools along beach shorelines in the summer and in mangrove lagoons. Prey items include molluscs, crustaceans, and fish (adults), while juveniles prey on benthic invertebrates. When feeding in shallow flats the tail frequently breaches the water surface, due to the "headstanding" required by its terminal mouth.
It exhibits fast growth until an age of about five years, and then growth slows considerably. 50% maturity of females in the population is estimated to be attained by 55 cm and an age of 3 years and for males by 48 cm and an age of 2.5 years.
(C) Bettyanne Taylor