Southern hake

Urophycis floridana

Family Phycidae - hakes

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Body elongate, round to compressed, soft; snout protruding, mouth subterminal; barbel on chin; color light brown to dark above, whitish below; lateral line with white spots in between dark dashes; series of dark spots on cheek; dark line from below eye to opercle; pelvic fins filamentous with 2 rays joined at base only, rays not reaching origin of anal fin in adults; 2nd dorsal and anal fins long, but separate from caudal fin; fins with dusky edges.
Similar Species
The unique markings on head and body distinguish this species. The spotted hake has a distinct white margin on the 1st dorsal fin. The Gulf hake has a vary short or no barbel on chin and no spots on cheeks. Cusk eels are similar in shape but their caudal fin is continuous with dorsal and anal fins (not separate from as in southern hake).
Habitat
Gulf, sandy or muddy bottoms
Maximum Size
35 cm (14 in), common to 25 cm (10 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. 12-13+55-59; A. 40-49 (explain)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
Comments
State size/bag limits