Latin name

Roncador stearnsii

Other names

Potty, spot, golden croaker.


The body of the spotted croaker is elongated, strongly elongated forward. The upper profile of the head is steep, slightly curved and sharply rounded at the very blunt snout. The mouth is subterminal, under the head. Coloration is silvery gray, with bluish shine above and white below. There are dark wavy lines on the flanks and a large black spot at the base of the pectoral fin. The spot on the pectoral fin, the subterminal mouth, and the lack of a fleshy belly distinguish the spotted croaker from other California croakers. The spotted croaker has 11 or fewer (usually 10) dorsal fin spines. Large males of the spotted owl in mating coloration are known as "golden croaker".


The spotted croaker is common from Mazatlan, Mexico, to Point Conception, California, including the Gulf of California. In California, they are the most abundant south of Los Angeles.


Spotted fish are found along beaches and in bays on coarse sand to heavy silt bottoms in depths of 4 to 50 feet or more. They prefer hollows and holes near the shore.


The average spotted croaker is small, and most of them weigh about a pound. The largest specimen caught on a rod and reel in California was 27 inches long and weighed 101⁄2 pounds.

Life history and Behavior

The spotted croaker moves without any particular pattern, moving intensively from bay to bay, usually in small groups of up to four dozen individuals. The spawning season lasts from June to September, and is very likely to occur in the open sea. In the fall, 1-inch juveniles appear in the surf.

Food and feeding habits

The spotted croaker has large pharyngeal teeth, well adapted for crushing shellfish, which constitute a large part of its diet. It also eats crustaceans and worms in large quantities.


No information

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Acanthuriformes
Family Roncador
Genus Roncador
Species R.stearnsii
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat bottom
Life span, years 15
Maximum body weight, kg 23
Maximum length, cm Acanthuriformes
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Acanthuriformes

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Croaker, Spotfin

Tags: Croaker, Spotfin