Project Description

Atlantic Croaker: Photo by NOAA Photo Library on Flickr.

Audiograph: Atlantic Croaker, Source: Sounds of the Western North Atlantic Fishes by Fish & Mowbray, 1970, University of Rhode Island, 2001

“Croaker” is a broad colloquial name used in many English speaking areas to name various fish which fall under the Sciaenidae family (under the Perciformes order). Most Croakers are gregarious, community animals and make noise by way of oscillating their swim bladder.  The Atlantic croaker is no different.

Sciaenids chorus in groups often temporally aligned with diel (day-night) cycles. Some also chorus spatially, sequentially signaling in waves like “stadium waves” across areas as wide as 25km.

General Information:

Latin Name:
Family – Sciaenidae, Micropogonias undulatus
AKA:
Length:
12 inches (30 cm)
Weight:
1/2 to 2 pounds (226 g to 0.9 kg)
Lifetime:
8 years
Physical Traits:
long dorsal fin that almost reaches the tail
Behavior:
migrate offshore to spawn, spend winter offshore on continental shelf, bottom dwellers, sounds are used for courting by the male fish but both male and female have capability, females and young use sound as a fright response
Habitat:
coastal waters, estuaries over mud or sand bottoms, in areas with low to moderate salinity, warm-temperate and tropical waters, best represented in major rivers
Locations:
Sciaenidae are found worldwide, in both fresh and saltwater, Atlantic Croaker are found along the coast from Main to Florida
Food:
worms, mkollusks, crustaceans and small fish
Predators:
striped bass, flounder, weakfish, and spotted seatrout
Links:
Literature:

Workshop Proceedings from the International Workshop on the Application of Passive Acoustics in Fisheries, April 8-10, 2002.Fish, M.P. and Mowbray, H.M. 1970. Sounds of Western North Atlantic Fishes. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins Press. pg. 106.

Hoese, H.D. and Moore, R.H. 1998. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico: Texas, Louisiana, and Adjacent Waters. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, Texas 77843