Sciaenops ocellatus
(Linnaeus 1766)
Family Sciaenidae

Lateral view of red drum
The photo above shows an adult, top, and a juvenile, bottom, red drum. These fish are now part of the Florida Museum ichthyology collection. Top: UF 188005 Bottom: UF 187969 Florida Museum photo by Zachary Randall

The red drum is a member of the drum and croaker family. It has an elongate, fusiform body with a gently rounded dorsal profile. This species has a large and subterminal mouth, and the maxilla extends beyond the eye. There are no barbels on the chin, and one or more large ocelli may be found at the caudal fin base, caudal peduncle or below the second dorsal fin. The red drum is a marine species that enters nearshore water bodies including rivers, creeks, canals and ditches. This species is only found over sandy or muddy substrate.

Status & distribution

  • Status — Marine invader
  • Florida Distribution — Western and North Central; Gulf Coast; South Florida; Atlantic Coast
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