Archosargus probatocephalus

Family Sparidae - porgies

Body deep, compressed; color gray with dark vertical bars; no dark spot on shoulder; mouth small; front teeth in both jaws incisor-like, directed forward, outer edges straight or only slightly notched (in large adults); teeth on sides molar-like; 1st dorsal spine small and directed forward; 2nd anal spine strong, thick; posterior nostril slit-like; auxiliary process (bony splint extending from the upper base of the pelvic fin) present.
Similar Species
May be confused with the black drum or Atlantic spadefish which also have dark vertical bars. Sheepshead can be distinguished from these species by the short, forward projecting dorsal spine and the incisor-like teeth that protrude forward.
Gulf and bay
Maximum Size
91 cm (36 in), common to 35 cm (14 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. XII,10-12; A. III,10-11 (explain)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
State size/bag limits
Minimum size is 15 in., bag limit is 5; Check for state record.