Streaked Mojarra

Streaked Mojarra, Eugerres lineatus

The Streaked Mojarra, Eugerres lineatus, whose common Spanish name is mojarra china and known locally as mojarra canalera, is a species in the Mojarra or Gerreidae Family, known collectively as mojarras in Mexico. Globally, there are only seven species in the genus Eugerres, six of which are found in Mexican waters, three in the Atlantic and three in the Pacific.

The Streaked Mojarras have wide rhomboidal compressed bodies with a depth that is 48 to 52% of standard length. They have a silvery coloration that is darker on their upper back with thin dark lines that follow the scale rows over the upper half of their body. All their fins are dark and there is a dark blotch at the base of their pectoral fins. Their upper head profile is steep with a strongly pointed snout and a highly extensible mouth. They have serrated gill covers and 11 or 12 lower gill rakers. Their anal fin has 3 spines and 8 rays; the second anal spine is long and thick and equal in length to the second dorsal spine; the caudal fin is deeply forked; the dorsal fin has 9 spines and 10 rays and is elevated at the front; and the pectoral fins are approximately the length of the head reaching the pelvic tips and falling well short of the anal fin origin. Their lateral line is strongly arched. Their head and body are covered with rough scales.

The Streaked Mojarras reside in shallow coastal areas including mangrove estuaries and fresh water lagoons at depths up to 100 feet. They have a maximum length of 26 cm (10 inches). They are a poorly studied species and very limited information is available about their behavioral patterns.

In Mexican waters the Streaked Mojarra 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 and from the northern third of the Sea of Cortez.

The Streaked Mojarra can be confused with the Black Axillary Mojarra, Eugerres axillaris (pectoral fins reach anal fin origin) and the Shortnose Mojarra, Diapterus brevirostris (pectoral fins reach anal fin origin).

The Streaked Mojarras are fished commercially and sold in local fish markets in the greater Los Cabos area at certain times of the year.

Streaked Mojarra (1)

Streaked Mojarra, Eugerres lineatus. Commercial fish courtesy of the Central Mercado, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, September 2014. Length: 18.5 cm (7.3 inches).