Selene vomer

Picture of a lookdown fish in an aquarium

Image by Milla-Maria Salo on Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Physical: The lookdown fish has a flat, reflective silver body with a steep forehead and protruding lower jaw. It gets its name from its eyes, which angle downward. Its tail is deeply forked and thin. It has long trailing filaments on the second dorsal (back) fin and anal (bottom) fin. Grows to about 12 in (30.5 cm) on average.

Habitat: Their range spans from Nova Scotia to Bermuda, the Gulf of Mexico, and down to Uruguay. Lookdown prefer warmer waters, so they are typically only found in New Jersey waters in the warmer summer months. Lookdown live in shallow coastal waters, over hard or sandy bottom. Juveniles reside in estuaries or by sandy beaches. Adults travel together in fast-moving shoals. They also migrate for spawning season and for the winter.

Feeding: Lookdown feed on small worms, fishes, shrimps, and crabs. Their large and extendable mouth allows them to eat bigger prey.

Breeding: Not much is known about their breeding behavior. Spawning season likely occurs in the summer. Females release eggs into the water for fertilization. Larvae probably reside offshore.

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