Croaker Family Photos and Information – Sciaenidae

 The Croaker Family – Sciaennidae

Vacuoqua Croaker, Corvula macrops, a representative member of the Croaker or Sciaenidae Family.

The fish of the Croaker or Sciaenidae Family are known in Mexico’s fishing areas as berrugatas and corvinas. There are a total of two hundred eight-four global family members that have been placed in seventy genera of which eighty-three species reside in North American waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The family includes Corvinas, Croakers, Drums, High-Hats, and Weakfish. They are found in tropical and coastal waters and are also abundant in the Gulf of Mexico.  Thirty species of croakers are found in the Sea of Cortez.

The Croakers have moderately elongated and compressed bodies that range in length from 20 cm (8 inches) to 2 meters (78 inches). They are caught out of the surf and are named after the repetitive throbbing or drumming sounds they make with their resonating swim bladders amplifying the sound.  They are highly variable in color from silvery to dark brown or black. They are either a uniform coloration or have spots and dark bands. Their heads generally have blunt snouts with conspicuous sensory pores on the snout tip; some also have barbels on their chins. They have a low-set mouth that opens very low on the face. Their anal fins have two spines and their long dorsal fins are separated and extend to the tail. They have a prominent lateral line that extends into the posterior edge of their variably-shaped but never forked caudal fin; in most fish the lateral line ends at the base of the caudal fin. Their heads and bodies are completely scaled.

The Croakers are tropical bottom dwelling fish found globally in both fresh and salt water; they inhabit sandy shores and estuaries generally at depths of less than 150 feet. They are benthic carnivores feeding on invertebrates and small fish.

The Croakers are an excellent food and sports fish and commonly caught by surf and pier fishermen. Some Croakers are important commercial species: for example, the Small Yellow Croaker, Larimichthys polyactiscaught in the Western Indian Ocean primarily by trawlers and gill net fishermen, is sold at the level of 500,000 tons per annum making it the 25th most important fishery species globally. The various species of Corvina are also important food fish in Mexico and Central America.

Forty-four members of the Croaker or Sciaenidae Family found in Mexican waters that are included in this website are:

Amigo Stardrum, Stellifer wintersteenorum
Atlantic Croaker, Micropogonias undulates
Bairdiella, Bairdiella icistia

Bigeye Corvina, Isopisthus remifer
Black Croaker, Cheilotrema saturnum

Black Drum, Pogonias cromis
Bluestreak Drum, Elattarchus archidium
California Corbina, Menticirrhus undulatus
Cortez Croaker, Umbrina wintersteeni
Cubbyu, Pareques umbrosus
Dusky Croaker, Ophioscion scierus
Freshwater Drum, Aplodinotus grunniens
Golden Croaker, Micropogonias altipinnis
Longfin Croaker, Umbrina dorsalis
Longspine Croaker, Umbrina analis
Northern Kingfish, Menticirrhus saxatilis
Orangemouth Corvina, Cynoscion xanthulus
Pacific Drum, Larimus pacificus
Panama Kingfish, Menticirrhus panamensis
Queen Corvina, Cynoscion albus
Queenfish, Seriphus politus
Rock Croaker, Pareques species A
Sand Drum, Umbrina coroides
Sand Seatrout, Cynoscion arenarius
Shining Drum, Larimus effulgens
Shortfin Corvina, Cynoscion parvipinnis
Silver Drum, Larimus argenteus
Silver Perch, Bairdiella chrysoura
Slender Croaker, Micropogonias ectenes
Star Drum, Stellifer lanceolatus
Slender Kingfish, Menticirrnhus elongatus
Southern Kingfish, Menticirrhus americanus
Spotfin Croaker, Roncador stearnsi
Spotted Seatrout, Cynoscion nebulosus
Striped Corvina, Cynoscion reticulates
Surf Croaker, Umbrina xanti
Totoaba, Totoaba macdonaldi
Vacuoqua Croaker, Corvula macrops
White Croaker, Genyonemus lineatus
White Seabass, Atractoscion nobilis
Wormlined Croaker, Ophioscion vermicularis
Yelloweye Croaker, Odontoscion xanthops
Yellowfin Croaker, Umbrina roncodor
Yellowtail Corvina, Cynoscion stolzmanni