Robalo is widespread throughout the tropical waters of the western Atlantic Ocean from the coast of the North Carolina to Brazil. This species of snook requires an estuarine habitat to survive. An estuary is where the ocean and fresh water meet, like the mouth of a river at the sea. The Robalo is able to adapt to a wide range of salinities, and can be found in coastal wetland ponds, island networks, and creeks.
The Robalo is a golden-yellow species of fish with a protruding lower jaw and sloping forehead. They have a very distinct black lateral line running across the body. These fish commonly range from 50-140 cm in length. This type of fish is commonly prepared by quickly roasting them in the oven, flavoring them with wine, oil, tomatoes, onions, and herbs.
The Robalo is a hermaphroditic fish. It starts its life as a male and then changes its sex to become a female after it reaches maturity. The Robalo usually spawn between April and October, with the peak spawning occurring during the months of July and August. Spawning usually occurs near the shore in waters with high salinity. The juvenile Robalo will migrate to the less saline areas following spawning. They will then return to the higher salinity waters of the open ocean to join the breeding population once they reach maturity.