13 Fin-tastic Facts About Lookdown For Kids

For more interesting lookdown fish facts check out kidadl

The lookdown (Selene vomer) of the order Carangiformes and Carangidae family is a large to medium-sized game fish. Carl Linnaeus, Swedish naturalist first described the lookdown in the year 1758. These fish do not play an important role in commercial fisheries, but they are displayed in large public aquariums due to their flashy appearance and shape. They are sometimes called threadfin lookdown. They have a highly reflective silvery-blue body. This color, due to the guanine pigments, creates a mirror-like body. They stay still and can manipulate the scales to reflect or dim the light. They do well with peaceful tank mates. They require a lot of space in the aquarium to stretch their fins. They have several predators like large fish, sharks, birds, and even humans. The lookdown fish seems like they are looking down as their lower jaw juts out. These are big ocean marine fish. These fish are highly adaptive.

If you enjoyed these facts, you may further read our barb facts and bull shark facts facts.


Fact File

What do they prey on?

Meaty food and live items like small fish and worms

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

300,000 eggs

How much do they weigh?

4.6 lb (2.1 kg)

How long are they?

19 in (48.3 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?


Skin Type


What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Marine and brackish water, near coasts, and sandy or hard bottoms


Canada, Maine, Uruguay, Gulf of Mexico, and Bermuda





Scientific Name

Selene vomer





Lookdown Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a lookdown?

The lookdown (Selene vomer) is of genus Selene and order Carangiformes. This fish species is a game fish and is related to Atlantic moonfish. These fish are fast swimming and are carnivorous. They feed at dawn and dusk. They do well in an aquarium with proper care and daily feeding.

What class of animal does a lookdown belong to?

The lookdown (Selene vomer) belongs to the Actinopterygii class of animals.

How many lookdowns are there in the world?

The data on the population of this species around the world is not available.

Where does a lookdown live?

The lookdown species habitats include Canada, Maine south to Uruguay, Gulf of Mexico, and Bermuda. They are common in tropical Atlantic water and are rarely spotted in the Greater Antilles.

What is a lookdown's habitat?

This species occupies brackish and marine waters and are found at a depth of 3.2-174 ft (1-53 m). They are found along sandy or hard bottoms near the coast. Juveniles are found near sandy beaches or estuaries.

Who do lookdowns live with?

This species is found in social groups to avoid predators. Selene vomer travel in schools. They also form shoals and they may break away into pairs and small groups.

How long does a lookdown live?

There is no record on the life span of this fish in the wild. In captivity, they survive up to 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

The lookdown fish species lay eggs (oviparous). The spawning occurs offshore in summer around April. In captivity, the adult fish are first kept in a 1500 gal (5678 L) water tank. To stimulate the spawning process the tanks have the required lighting. The females will lay around 300,000 eggs into the water column that are 0.02-0.03 in (0.7-0.8 mm) in diameter. The young species hatch after 24-30 hours and around 48-72 hours the larvae start to search for food. These juveniles grow fast.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Selene vomer is of Least Concern. They are not fished for consumption but mainly for the aquarium trade.

Lookdown Fun Facts

What does lookdown look like?

The lookdown fish can make sharp corner turns due to their flat body.

The lookdown fish has a silvery-blue body. The lookdown species have a characteristic anal fin and dorsal fin. The second ray on the fin is longer than all other rays around. The anal fin and dorsal fin look like a scythe. The anal fin has  18 rays and 3 spines whereas the dorsal fin has 23 rays and 9 spines. They have a compressed rhombus-shaped body. Their eyes are high up and their mouth is set low. They have a concave head and they have a forked caudal fin like that of the pompanos and a scythe-like pectoral fin that reaches up to the middle of the second dorsal fin. There is no difference between males and females. The first and second dorsal fins are soft.

How cute are they?

According to many people, these flashy fish are cute.

How do they communicate?

The lookdown fish species communicate through sound, motion, and smell.

How big is a lookdown?

The lookdown fish species is 19 in (48.3 cm) long. For the first three weeks, juveniles grow up to 0.3 in (0.76 cm).

How fast can a lookdown swim?

These fish are agile and have good speed. The data on the exact speed of these species is not available.

How much does a lookdown weigh?

The lookdown fish species weigh up to 4.6 lb (2.1 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name given to female and male of this species.

What would you call a baby lookdown?

A baby lookdown is referred to as a juvenile.

What do they eat?

The lookdown fish species search and eat small animals including fish, crabs, worms, crustaceans, and shrimps. In captivity, they are fed brine shrimp, blood worms, fish including tropical fish food. The juveniles search and eat small worms and fish.

Are they dangerous?

No, lookdowns are not dangerous to people.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, they would make a good pet. They are peaceful species and can share a tank with other fish. They need proper aquarium care and conditions. They need a minimum tank size of 125 gals (473 l) of water with moderate care and daily feeding. They can also share the tank with other fish species.

Did you know...

The lookdown makes grunting noises using their swim bladders and teeth when they are stressed.

Juveniles face swim bladder and gas-related issues.

Selene vomer is a member of the large jack family. Also this scientific is name is the name of the moon Greek Goddess.

This fish cannot be consumed due to ciguatera poisoning.

A piece of related news showed that the IGAF All-Tackle World Record was created by lookdown for massive size. This fish was 4 lb (1.81 kg) in weight.

With manipulative scales, they can camouflage easily in open waters.

The 'vomer' in Selene vomer is a derivation of a Latin word meaning 'ploughshare.' The University of Portland went on to search about these species' open water concealment.

Some other common names of this species are hair fanned dory, horse head, and dollar fish.

Are lookdown fish reef safe?

Lookdown fish are reef safe. They do not feed on coral reefs but only on small fish and other small animals.

Is lookdown a game fish?

Yes, lookdown is a game fish. They share appearance and is also related to the Atlantic moonfish. They make a good game fish because of their agility and speed. Anglers always search for fast fish.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these hammerhead shark facts and pacific salmon facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Lookdown colouring pages.



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