Oligoplites palometa (Cuvier, 1832)
Maracaibo leatherjacket
Oligoplites palometa
photo by Krumme, U.

Family:  Carangidae (Jacks and pompanos), subfamily: Scomberoidinae
Max. size:  49.7 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 900.0 g
Environment:  benthopelagic; depth range 18 - 45 m
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: Lake Izabal, Guatemala eastward to Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Diagnosis:   
Biology:  Adults are found mainly in brackish and fresh waters; also over muddy bottoms of coastal marine waters (Ref. 5217). May leap out of the water. They return to the sea to reproduce (Ref. 36880). Dorsal and anal spines bear venomous glands (Ref. 40401). Adults are carnivorous (Ref 40401) while juveniles up to 8.2 cm FL feed mainly on scales taken from larger fishes, also on benthic and planktonic crustaceans, and to a minor extent on smaller fishes and polychaetes (Ref. 40402). Juveniles up to 3.0 cm TL adopt a dark brown color pattern while close to decaying plant fragments, an example of camouflage (Ref. 40401, 46533). Over open, detritus-free and light colored sandy bottom, adopts a contrasting yellowish and dark brown pattern, an example of warning colors. Its conspicuous colors are mimicked by juveniles of the non-venomous grunt Pomadasys ramosus (Ref. 46533).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 21 August 2012 Ref. (119314)
Threat to humans:  venomous
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.10.90
Modified by: Bailly, Nicolas - 12.07.13

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