The Palometa is an ocean-going game fish. In the wild, Palometa eat worms, insect pupae, and smaller fish.

Palometa are most recognized by their elongated dorsal and anal fins with dark anterior lobes. The dorsal fin usually has 7-8 spines and 19-20 soft rays, while the anal fin has 2-3 spines and 16-18 soft rays. They can have colors from gray to blue-green on the tops of their heads, and have silver-colored sides with four narrow, vertical bars. The tips of their fins are darkened. The tail has no scutes, unlike many members of its family, and has a faint fifth vertical bar near the base. The largest known Palometa was 50 centimeters long; The largest known weight of any Palometa is 560 grams.

Palometa prefer clear, tropical water of sandy shores and bays. They are also known to swim in small shoals above coral reefs. Palometa are found only in the western Atlantic ocean from Massachusetts, east to Bermuda, south to Argentina. They are also found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean sea.