The Beach Exhibit represents species commonly found near the surf zone of Virginia’s beaches. Most of these species such as the red drum are migratory and pass through from late spring to fall.
Atlantic croaker Micropogonias undulates – Croaker are one of the more abundant Bay species, able to thrive in a wide range of temperatures and salinities. They are famous – and named – for their frog-like croaking sound, made by rapidly vibrating muscles against the air-filled swim bladder.
Spot Leiostomus xanthurus – This species is anmed for the characteristic black spot just behind its gills. They are a small but very popular food fish, and often used for bait for larger species. Often confused with the American croaker, they are closely related members of the Drum family.
Red drum Sciaenops ocellatus – Red drum are a migratory species, but inhabit Bay waters from spring to late fall. Feeding on crustaceans and small fishes, red drum grow quickly to become one of the larger fishes in the Bay, reaching nearly one hundred pounds. These powerful fish are highly prized by anglers, as throphy sized fish move down the caost in late fall. They are copper in color with at least one distinct black spot at the upper caudal-fin base, and also go by the names Redfish and Puppy drum.
Black drum Pogonias cromis – This fish is the largest of the drum family, and much broader in shape than its cousins. They have distinct beard-like barbels on the underside of their chin used to locate food along the bottom. Black drum , like the other members of the drum family, also make a croaking sound with their gas bladder, but are also capable of producing drum tones between 100 Hz and 500 Hz!