The Kingcroakers (formerly “kingfish”) are a species of fish in the genus Menticirrhus and belong to the family Sciaenidae. Four subspecies are recognized:

  • Menticirrhus americanus – Southern Kingfish: This species grows to 20 inches in length. Seven to eight dark bands mark the sides which shade from dusky above to almost white on the belly. They are found from the Western Caribbean Sea to Cape Cod over sand or mud in depths of at least 5 feet. This species is prized for its flesh, and is fished both commercially and recreationally.
  • Menticirrhus littoralis – Gulf Kingfish: The body is silvery in color and occurs in the surf zone from the Gulf of Mexico to Florida. In all other respects it is similar to M. americanus.
  • Menticirrhus saxatilis – Northern Kingfish: The size, habits, range and fishery is similar to M. americanus. The coloration is the same too, except for a dark V-shaped mark on the shoulder.
  • Menticirrhus undulatus – California Corbina