Bronzestriped Grunt

Bronzestriped Grunt, Orthopristis reddingi

The Bronzestriped Grunt, Orthopristis reddingi, whose common Spanish name is burrito rayado, is a species in the Grunt or Haemulidae Family, known collectively as burros and roncos in Mexico. Globally, there are only eight species in the genus Orthopristis, three of which are found in Mexican waters, one in the Atlantic and two in the Pacific.

The Bronzedstriped Grunts have elongated slender strongly compressed bodies with a depth that is 31 to 35% of standard length. They have an overall silvery appearance with orange or bronze oblique stripes that follow the scale rows. All their fins are transparent with the exception of the caudal fin, which is dusky. They have smoothly curved head profiles with a short mouth that ends before the eyes. Their chin has two front and two rear pores and their gill covers are finely serrated with a slightly concave rear margin. They have 12 to 15 lower gill rakers. Their anal fin has a long base with 3 short spines and 9 or 10 rays with the second spine being longer than the third; their caudal fin is deeply forked; and their dorsal fin has 12 spines and 15 rays and is without a notch.

The Bronzestriped Grunts are a schooling species found over sandy and muddy bottoms at depths up to 340 feet. They reach a maximum length of 30 cm (12 inches). They are nocturnal carnivores feeding on benthic crustaceans, mollusks, echinoderms, and small fish.  They are a very rare poorly studied species and little is known about their behavioral patterns.

In Mexican waters the Bronzestriped Grunts are found in all waters of the Pacific with the exception that they are absent from Magdalena Bay northward along the central and northwest coasts of Baja.

The Bronzestriped Grunt can be confused with the Brassy Grunt, Microlepidotus brevipinnis (body depth 36-40% of standard length; no orange stripes), the Humpback Grunt, Orthopristis chalceus (body depth 37-41% of  standard length; long pectoral fins), the Longfin Salema, Xenichthys xanti  (horizontal stripes), the Salema, Haemulon californiensis (body depth 29-33% of standard length; horizontal orange stripes), and the Wavyline Grunt, Microlepidotus inornatus (horizontal stripes).

The Bronzestriped Grunt is too rare and too small to be of interest to most.

Bronzestriped Grunt, Orthopristis reddingi, juvenile. Fish caught with a cast net off a pier in Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, Baja California Sur, October 2017. Length: 14.7 cm (5.8 inches).

Bronzestriped Grunt, Orthopristis reddingi. Fish provided by the commercial fishermen of Bahía Kino, Sonora, November 2014. Length: 27 cm (11 inches). Photo courtesy of Maria Johnson, Prescott College Kino Bay Center, Kino Bay, Sonora.