Species profiles: life histories and environmental requirements (Gulf of Mexico)--Atlantic croaker




Lassuy, Dennis R.

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National Coastal Ecosystems Team, Division of Biological Services, Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior


Species profiles are literature summaries on the taxonomy, morphology, range, life history, and environmental requirements of coastal aquatic species. They are designed to assist in environmental impact assessment. The Atlantic croaker, Micropogonias undulatus, is one of the most abundant Gulf of Mexico species and is caught by commercial and sport fishermen. It is the main species of an industrial groundfish fishery and is estuarine dependent. Spawning occurs from October to March in the nearshore Gulf of Mexico and larvae move into and use shallow estuarine areas, usually near marshes, for nurseries. Postlarvae and juveniles remain in estuaries until fall when they migrate to the Gulf of Mexico. Adults inhabit estuaries, inshore, and offshore waters. Croakers have high mortality rates and few live beyond 5 years. Adults are primarily benthic carnivores. Adults have been collected in a temperature range of 5 degrees to 35.5 degrees C and a salinity range of 0.2 to 75 ppt. Early life stages tolerate lower temperatures and salinities better than the adults.


12 pgs.


Atlantic croaker, Micropogon undulatus, fish, feeding, growth, habitat, life history, spawning, environmental factors, aquatic ecology, fish habitat improvement