Latin name

Trachinotus falcatus

Other names

French: carangue plume; Portuguese: sernambiguara; Spanish: palometa, pampano, pampano erizero, pámpano palometa.


In appearance, it is a shiny, silvery fish with dark fins and a dark or iridescent blue to greenish or grayish back. The belly is often yellowish, and occasionally the pelvic fins and anterior anal fin blade have an orange hue. Many specimens have a dark round black area on the sides behind the base of the pectoral fins, and some have a spot in the middle of the body. The body is compressed laterally, and the fish has a high back profile. Young fish appear rounded, while adults appear more elongated. The smaller fish have teeth on their tongue. They have 16 to 19 soft anal rays and 17 to 21 soft rays. The second dorsal fin has a single spike. They are distinguished by a deeper body and generally larger body size. Fish over 10 pounds have prominent second and third ribs and can be palpated through the sides of the fish, which helps distinguish them from Florida pompano.


Found in the western Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to southeastern Brazil, including the Bahamas and much of the West Indies. They are most common in Florida, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean.


These fish live in shallow, warm waters at depths of up to 100 feet, with juveniles preferring clearer and shallower waters than adults. Able to adapt to a wide range of salinity, they are found in channels or burrows on sandbanks, around reefs, and sometimes on muddy bottoms. When young, they are mostly schooling fish, moving in groups of 10 or more, although sometimes seen in large numbers, they become solitary as they age.


They usually weigh 25 pounds and are 1 to 3 feet long, but can exceed 50 pounds and reach 45 inches in length. The world record among all tackle is held by a Florida fish weighing 56 pounds, 2 ounces, caught in 1997.

Life history and Behavior

No information

Food and feeding habits

On the sandy bottom, they feed mainly on mollusks and on reefs on crustaceans such as crabs, shrimps and sea urchins. They feed by rooting in the sand in shallow water.


No information

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Carangiformes
Family Carangidae
Genus Morone
Species T. falcatus
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years 23
Maximum body weight, kg 36
Maximum length, cm 122
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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