Pacific Drum, Larimus pacificus
The Pacific Drum, Larimus pacificus, whose common Spanish name is boquinete del Pacifico, is a species in the Croaker or Sciaenidae Family, known collectively as berrugatras and corvinas in Mexico. Globally, there are only seven species in the genus Larimus, five of which are found in Mexican waters, one in the Atlantic and four in the Pacific.
The Pacific Drums have short oval compressed bodies with a humped back and a short compressed head with a short snout. They have a silvery gray coloration. Their sides have dark stripes that follow the scale rows. Their fins are pale to dusky and their pectoral fins have a dark axil. They have large eyes, a slightly oblique mouth ending behind the center of the eyes, and a slightly projecting lower jaw. The chin does not have a barbell, however it does have four minute pores on the tip and eight pores on the snout. The margin of their gill covers is smooth. Their anal fin has two spines and 6 rays with the second spine being stout and slightly shorter than the first ray; their caudal fin is slightly rounded; their dorsal fin is deeply notched with 10 spines followed by another spine and 26 to 28 rays; their pectoral fins are long with 16 or 17 rays; and their pelvic fins are short. They have 31 to 33 long and slender gill rakers and are covered with rough scales.
The Pacific Drums are found demersal over sandy bottoms along the shore, in the surf zone, and in inshore bays at depths up to 900 feet. They reach a maximum length of 32 cm (13 inches). They are found in all Mexican waters of the Pacific with the exception of north of Guerrero Negro along the northern coast of Baja. They are a poorly studied species and little is known about their behavioral patterns.
In Mexican waters the Pacific Drums are a rare species found in all waters of the Pacific with the exception that they are absent from Guerrero Negro northward along the central and northwest coasts of Baja. They are much more common in coastal waters of Panama, being omnipresent in the Panama Fish Market, and northern Peru.
The Pacific Drum is most likely confused with the Steeplined Drum, Larimus acclivis (14 or 15 pectoral rays; all fins dusky).
In Mexico they are too rare and too small to be of interest to most.
Pacific Drum, Larimus pacificus. Fish provided by the commercial fishermen of the greater Los Cabos area, Baja California Sur, June 2008. Length: 20 cm (7.9 inches).
Pacific Drum, Larimus pacificus. Fish provided by the commercial fishermen of the greater Los Cabos area, Baja California Sur, March 2011. Length: 27 cm (11 inches). Identification reconfirmed by H.J. Walker, Jr., Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA.