The spot croaker (Leiostomus xanthurus) or spot is a small saltwater fish species inhabiting estuary and coastal waters along the eastern coast of United States, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean. The spot croaker derives its name from the prominent dark spot behind each gill. It is also known for the croaking sound it produces using its swim bladder. It is part of the family Sciaendae and the only species in its the genus, Leiostomus. Spot croakers spawn offshore and the spawn migrate inland to develop into juveniles. They are frequently caught by recreational anglers and make excellent table fare. Their diets consist largely of organic detritus, small crustaceans, and worms.
Illustration: © Diane Rome Peebles