Spot

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Spot

Leiostomus xanthurus 

Range/Geographical Distribution:  From Massachusetts south to northern Mexico but absent in south Florida.

Habitat: Sandy or muddy bottoms in coastal waters and estuaries.  Migrate offshore to spawn.

Description:  Blue/brown above and silver/white below.  Distinct brownish spot behind gill cover and 12-15 diagonal dark lines on each side.

Size: Up to 14 inches in length and weigh up to one pound. 

Food:  Opportunistic bottom feeder; primarily eats worms, small crustaceans, detritus, and mollusks.

Breeding:  Spawning occurs in offshore coastal waters from late fall to early spring.  Females produce 70,000 – 90,000 eggs.  Larval fish stay nearshore and within estuaries.

Predators: Predatory fish and birds.

Conservation Status: No legal status.

Interesting Facts:  Spot are one of the most abundant fish species along the southeast coast of the United States.  Males and females both reach sexual maturity at around two years of age.

On the Coast: Spot are common along Georgia’s coast and are an important commercial and recreational fish.

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