About This Fish


The Scup (Stenotomus chrysops) is ray finned fish which is also known as porgy and Seabream. It belongs to the family Sparidae under Order Perciformes of Class Actinopterygii. It occurs primarily in the Atlantic from Massachusetts to South Carolina. It travels in schools and migrates between coastal waters in summer and offshore water in winter. It also migrates inshore to spawn in the spring.

The Scup is deep-bodied and have very spiny fins. Head is short with small mouth. It has one long continuous dorsal fin, which contains a series of 1 short and 11 long spine anteriorly. The anal fin also contains 1 short spine which is followed by several long spines. The caudal fin is deeply concave and sharply pointed on the corners. The pelvic fin is located directly below the pectoral fin. The body is generally an iridescent dull silvery in color with light blue and has 12-15 inconspicuous horizontal stripes. The head is marked with dark patches and the belly is white. The lateral line is complete which runs from operculum to the base of caudal fin. It spawns once a year and female can produce an average of about 7,000 eggs. Spawning occurs during the period between May and August with peak in June and July. It feeds on amphipods, worms, sand dollars, young squid, crustaceans, vegetable detritus, insect larvae, jellyfish and small fish. Sexual maturity is attained when fish are 2 years old and about 20 cm long. Scup may live to be 20 years old reaching a length of 40 cm and a weight of 3 pounds.

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