Red drum is the accepted common name for this species by the American Fisheries Society, but they are also called channel bass, spottail bass and redfish. Drum aged 1 to 4 years are called puppy drum. Red drum are related to black drum, spotted seatrout, weakfish, sea mullets, croaker and spot, most of which also make drum sounds. Fisheries scientists refer to the species as Sciaenops ocellatus; Sciaenops is Greek for perch-like marine fish and ocellatus is Latin for eye-like colored spot. The Latin term refers to the black spot (usually one, but sometimes two or more) on either side near the base of the tail. Scientists believe that the spots may fake predators into attacking the red drum toward their tails instead of near their eyes, allowing the drum to escape.