Bluestreak Drum, Elattarchus archidium
The Bluestreak Drum, Elattarchus archidium, whose common Spanish name is corvineta gallinita, is a species in the Croaker or Sciaenidae Family, known collectively as berrugatas and corvinas in Mexico. This fish is the sole member of the genus Elattarchus and is found in Mexican waters of the Pacific.
The Bluestreak Drums have moderately elongated and compressed bodies. They are bluish-gray dorsally and transition to silvery ventrally. They have a black blotch at the top of their gill covers. Some fish have dark oblique stripes on their sides. Their anal and pectoral fins are clear to yellowish and their first dorsal fin has a dusky margin. They have large eyes and a large oblique mouth that opens at the front and is equipped with a row of canine teeth on each jaw with the pair at the front of the lower jaw being enlarged. Their anal fin has two spines and eight or nine rays with the second ray being three-fourths the length of the first ray; their caudal fin has a straight margin; their first dorsal fin has 10 spines; their second dorsal fin has one or two spines and 24 to 28 rays; and their pectoral fins are long and reach past the pelvic fins. They have 13 to 18 gill rakers. They have a prominent arched lateral line and are covered with rough scales.
The Bluestreak Drums are a demersal species found along sandy bays, in lagoons, and within some estuaries at depths up to 165 feet. Juveniles form large aggregations in and around rocky reefs. They reach a maximum length of 25.0 cm (9.8 inches). They feed on zooplankton and pelagic fish larvae. They are a poorly studied species and little is known about their behavioral patterns.
In Mexican waters the Bluestreak Drums are found in all waters of the Pacific with the exception of north of Magdalena Bay along the central and northwest coasts of Baja.
The Bluestreak Drum is straightforward to identify and cannot be confused with any other species.
The Bluestreak Drums are of little interest as they are small, exceedingly rare, and seldom seen by humans. From a conservation perspective, they are considered of Least Concern and are reported to have a wide distribution, however, no population information is available.
Bluestreak Drum, Elattarchus archidium. Fish caught within the coastal waters of Magdalena Bay, Baja California, May 2017. Length: 17.7 cm (7.0 inches). Catch and photo courtesy of Jimmy Camacho, Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, Baja California Sur.