Coral Reefs, Sand, Inshore, Nearshore
8 - 10 pounds
10" - 14"
The leatherjacket is a long, silvery fish that is about 10-11 inches long. It has a blue-green body that may have a yellow tinge, and the skin is ridged with many short grooves that give it a leathery look.
This particular species is often misidentified as two other breeds - a longjaw leatherjack that possesses a more protruding jaw, and a shortjaw leatherjack, which has a jaw akin to its namesake.
As it matures, the leatherjacket will shift its diet. The young will begin feeding on ectoparasites and fish scales when acting as a parasite itself. Once they are fully mature, a leatherjacket will have a diet consisting of small fish like anchovies, and will also consume shrimps, mysids, and macroalgae.
Leatherjackets are not usually fished for human consumption and have no real commercial contribution, but they have a good flavor for those that know how to handle this fish.
The leatherjacket is a large fish that has been observed to be between 10 inches at a minimum and to grow to 14 inches in length. The highest weight recorded is at 10.1 ounces.
The leatherjacket’s natural habitat in the western Atlantic Ocean ranges from Maine in the United States to the northern tip of the Gulf of Mexico and has also been spotted south of Uruguay. Sightings have also occurred i