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Gulf Kingfish

Menticirrhus littoralis


Illustration of a Gulf kingfish

Also known as whiting.

  • Body is silvery all over, without dark marks
  • First dorsal fin tip is often dusky-brown
  • Caudal fin (tail) has a blackish tip
  • Scales on underside are smaller than body scales
  • Barbel on lower jaw

Similar Species: Southern kingfish, M. americanus (caudal fin lacks a blackish tip); and northern kingfish, M. saxatilis (disting "V" mark above pectoral fins)

Size: Up to 18 inches



Coastal waters; common in surf zones along beaches.



Thought to prefer high wave action areas such as sand bars where the crashing waves dislodge and suspend small crabs and other small crustaceans. Feeds on fishes and invertabrates.

Additional Information

Fishing Tips and Facts: Longevity is 4 to 6 years. 

Recreational Regulations


Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles