Stenotomus chrysops

Picture of a scup

Image by Robert Aguilar, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, CC BY 2.0

Physical: Scup are a species of porgy fish. They’re dusky brown in color, with silvery sides and a silvery belly. Adults have mottled brown fins, while juvenile fins are somewhat striped. They can grow up to 20 in (50.8 cm).

Habitat: Scup are marine fish, ranging from Nova Scotia to Florida, though they become increasingly rare south of North Carolina. They migrate from season to season, overwintering between New Jersey and North Carolina, and returning north during the summer.

Feeding: Their diet consists of amphipods, worms, sand dollars, and small squid. They browse over the ocean floor to find their prey.

Breeding: Spawning takes place from May to August, with a peak in June around NJ and Massachusetts. They prefer a weedy or sandy bottom, and leave the eggs after fertilization. Eggs hatch after 2-4 days.

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