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BiologyForms dense schools, often in shallow waters close to shore. Able to tolerate a wide range of salinities, from hypersaline to almost fresh. Feeds on copepods when young, then on gastropods, foraminifers and an occasional ostracods and annelid. Breeding was recorded in April through to July at Beaufort, North Carolina. Breeds in harbors, estuaries and sounds. Eggs are elliptical, transparent, without oil globule, the yolk appearing `cellular' (Ref. 189). Great variation. Principal parasites are nematodes and cestodes (Scolex polymorphus and Rhynchobothrium sp.) and trematodes (Distomum appendiculatum and Distomum sp). Marketed as food (Ref. 37032).