Opsanus tau

Common Name

Oyster Toadfish

Year Described

Linnaeus, 1766


Dorsal Fin: III, 25-26
Anal Fin: 20-22
Pectoral Fin: 19-21
Pelvic Fin: I, 2
Lateral Line: 26-30 upper, 21-25 lower
Vertebrae: 11 precaudal, 23-25 caudal

Head wider, with interorbital distance greater than orbital diameter. Pectoral fin with 9-15 glands. Axillary pore present behind pectoral fin.


Body light brown with irregular dark blotches and numerous smaller dark spots. Head pattern similar with bands radiating from the eyes. Extent and darkness of pattern very variable. Caudal and pectoral fins banded. Dorsal and anal fins with oblique dark bands.


Maximum size to 432mm SL.


Inshore and continental waters. Found around hard structure on the bottom.


Massachusetts to eastern Florida.


Collette, B. B. 2001. Opsanus dichrostomus, a new toadfish (Teleostei: Batrachoididae) from the western Caribbean Sea and southern Gulf of Mexico. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology University of Michigan No. 731: 1-16.

Murdy, E.O. & J.A. Musick. 2013. Field guide to fishes of the Chesapeake Bay. JHU Press, 360 p.