Pacific Spotfin Mojarra

Pacific Spotfin Mojarra, Eucinostomus dowii

The Pacific Spotfin Mojarra, Eucinostomus dowii, whose common Spanish name is mojarra manchita, is a species in the Mojarra and Gerreidae Family, known collectively as mojarras in Mexico. Globally, there are eleven species in the genus Eucinostomus, all eleven of which are found in Mexican waters, seven in the Atlantic and four in the Pacific.

The Pacific Spotfin Mojarras have elongated oval bodies that have depths that are 33 to 37% of standard length. They have a silvery white body with no other distinguishing marks. Their head has a straight upper profile and a concave lower profile, their mouth is highly extensible, pointing downward when protruded, and their snout is pointed. They have smooth gill covers. Their anal fin has three slender spines and 7 rays with the second spine being short but the strongest, their caudal fin is deeply forked, their dorsal fin has 9 spines and 10 rays and is elevated at the front, and their pectoral fins are short and pointed and do not reach the anal fin origin. Their lateral line is slightly arched. Their head and body are covered with rough scales.

The Pacific Spotfin Mojarras reside in shallow coastal areas including mangrove estuaries and fresh water lagoons at depths up to 375 feet. They have a maximum length of 23 cm (8.9 inches). They are a poorly studied species and very limited information is available about their behavioral patterns.

In Mexican waters the Pacific Spotfin Mojarra are found in all waters of the Pacific.

The Pacific Spotfin Mojarra can be confused with the Darkspot Mojarra, Eucinostomus entomelas (oval body; black gill chamber and pectoral fins) and the Graceful Mojarra, Eucinostomus gracilis (slender body; slender second anal spine).

The Pacific Spotfin Mojarra is too small and too rare to be of interest to most.

Pacific Spotfin Mojarra, Eucinostomus dowii. Fish caught off the Ocean Beach Pier, San Diego, California, May 2006. Length: 2.5 cm (1.0 inches).

Pacific Spotfin Mojarra, Eucinostomus dowii. Fish provided by the commercial bait salesmen of Puerto Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, January 2013. Length: 14 cm (5.5 inches).

Pacific Spotfin Mojarra, Eucinostomus dowii. Fish provided by the commercial bait salesmen of Puerto Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, January 2011. Length: 18 cm (7.1 inches). Fish identification courtesy of Dr. Ross Robertson, Tropical Research Smithsonian Institute, Panama.

Pacific Spotfin Mojarra, Eucinostomus dowii. Fish provided by the commercial fishermen of Bahía Kino, Sonora, November 2014. Length: 21 cm (8.3 inches). Photo courtesy of Maria Johnson, Prescott College Kino Bay Center, Kino Bay, Sonora.