The juvenile lookdown sports long filaments from its dorsal fin, which help it blend in with grasses. Light is reflected by guanine pigments in the lookdown’s skin so that it flashes like a silver mirror.


  • The lookdown is a shimmery, silvery fish with an extremely blunt forehead.
  • Its body is also extremely compressed.

Fun Facts

  • This fish gets its name from the way it appears to look down its nose, like a snobbish person.
  • This fish is sometimes known as the threadfin lookdown. Another name for the lookdown is the bluntnose. This name comes from its unusual shape.
  • The lookdown is a summer and fall visitor to inshore areas from Maine to the Carolinas, as it prefers waters over 60°F (15°C).

CLASS: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
ORDER: Perciformes (perch-like fishes)
FAMILY: Carangidae (jacks and pompanos)
GENUS/SPECIES: Selene vomer

Size: Average 6–10 in (15–25.4 cm)
Depth: 3–174 ft (1–53 m)
Diet: Smaller fish, shrimp, squid, and small crabs
Habitat: Coastal and estuarine waters of western Atlantic