Gulf toadfish

Opsanus beta

Family Batrachoididae - toadfishes

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Body elongate; head flattened dorsoventrally, eyes on top of head; mouth large, slightly oblique; color golden to brown with dark mottling on body, fins with dark and light bands; spines on head and opercle (non-venomous); 2 dorsal fins, the 1st consisting of 3 spines and no rays, usually completely covered by skin; 2nd dorsal fin and anal fin long with many rays; body scaleless, smooth; skin very loose, difficult to distinguish margin between body and dorsal and anal fins; fleshy tabs on jaws and above eyes; pelvic fin small, anterior to pectoral fin.
Similar Species
The Atlantic midshipman has 2 spines in its 1st dorsal fin, no fleshy tabs, and rows of photophores on its sides and ventral surface.
Habitat
Gulf and bay, bottom dwellers, prefer sandy or mud bottoms
Maximum Size
30 cm (12 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. III+23-26; A. III,19-23 (explain)
Other Common Names
oyster dog, dogfish, spiny dogfish
Previous Scientific Names
Comments
Can produce sounds like grunts and whistles.
State size/bag limits