Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Selene vomer

The lookdown has a bright silver body that looks extremely flat. It has a steep forehead and a lower jaw that juts out, making them appear to be looking down.

Range & Habitat

Lookdowns inhabit shallow coastal waters up to 170 feet with hard or sandy bottoms from Maine, south to Uruguay and into the Gulf of Mexico.


Conservation Status: Least Concern

The lookdown is not hunted for human consumption due to ciguatera poisoning (a toxin carried by this fish). It is becoming popular as an aquarium fish, but not enough to have an effect on its population.


In the Wild - small crabs, shrimp, fish, worms.

At the Zoo – brine shrimp, blood worms, tropical fish food.

Life Span

In the Wild: Unknown.
In Human Care: Up to 20 years

Fun Facts about the Lookdown

  When stressed, lookdowns will make grunting noises with their swim bladders and their teeth.

    When traveling in schools, their metallic color can confuse predators.

    Their flat bodies give them a lot of speed and agility to escape predators.


Dallas World Aquarium. (2021). Lookdown Fish Selene Vomer. Retrieved February 7, 2021, from

Sankar, S. (2016). Selene vomer (Lookdown). Retrieved February 7, 2021, from

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. (2021). Lookdown. Retrieved February 7, 2021, from

South Carolina Aquarium. (2019). Lookdown. Retrieved February 7, 2019, from

Updated June 13, 2023
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