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The permit, Trachinotus falcatus, is a large species belonging to the jack family, Carangidae. Characteristics of this family are extremely variable, but most species are silvery in color with deeply forked caudal fins (Robins et al. 1986; Smith-Vaniz 2002). The body of T. falcatus is short, deep and compressed with a sloping head that terminates in a blunt snout. (Smith-Vaniz 2002). The upper jaw is narrow and ends beneath the midline of the small eyes. Jaws bear a series of small, conical teeth that curve slightly backward. Overall coloration is silvery with a bluish gray to blue-green tint on the upper third of the body and head. Some fish are marked with a dark oval spot near the pectoral fin, and juveniles are capable of altering their color from black to silver with dark red to bright orange anal and pelvic fins. Usual fin ray counts are as follows: dorsal fin = 5 short spines, followed by 1 spine and 17-21 soft rays (usually 18-20); anal fin = 2 separate short spines, followed by 1 spine and 16-19 soft rays (Robins et al. 1986; Smith-Vaniz 2002).


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© Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

Source: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory

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