Shining Drum

Shining Drum, Larimus effulgens

 The Shining Drum, Larimus effulgens, whose common Spanish name is boquinete boca de novia, is a member of the Croaker or Sciaenidae Family, known collectively as berrugatas or corvinas in Mexico.

The Shining Drums have short, oblong, compressed bodies with a humped back. They are silvery-gray dorsally with a dark pectoral axis and yellow anal, caudal, pectoral, and pelvic fins. Their short, compressed head has a short snout and moderately-sized eyes and a very oblique mouth that ends before the center of the eyes and is equipped with one or two rows of small sharp teeth and a projecting lower jaw. There are two minute pores on the tip of their chin and five pores on their snout. They do not have a chin barbel. The margin of their gill covers is smooth. Their anal fin has two spines and six rays with the second spine being stout and slightly longer than the first ray; their caudal fin is pointed; their dorsal fin is deeply notched with the first fin having 10 spines and the second fin having one spine and 28 to 30 rays; and their pectoral fins are long reaching beyond the pelvic fins and the anus. They are covered with rough scales.

The Shining Drums are a pelagic species found demersal over sandy bottoms along the shore and coastal lagoons at depths up to 250 feet. They reach a maximum length of 30 cm (12 inches). They feed on planktonic crustaceans, zooplankton, pelagic fish larvae, and small fish. Reproduction is oviparous with pelagic eggs and larvae. They are a poorly studied species and little is known about their behavioral patterns.

In Mexican waters the Shining Drums have a limited distribution being found from Magdalena Bay southward along the west coast of Baja, from La Paz southward along the east coast of Baja, and from the central Sea of Cortez southward to Guatemala along the west coast of the mainland.

The Shining Drum is similar in appearance and can be confused with the Pacific Drum, Larimus pacificus (31 to 33 gill rakers; black caudal fin), the Silver Drum, Larimus argenteus (23 to 26 gill rakers; vertical mouth), and the Steeplined Drum, Larimus acclivis (oblique lines above lateral line).

The Shining Drums are caught as a by-catch of other fisheries and sold commercially at a minor level in some portions of their range. From a conservation perspective they are currently listed as of Least Concern, being common with wide distribution and stable populations.

Shining Drum, Larimus effulgens. Fish caught by Jimmy Camacho, within the coastal waters of Magdalena Bay, Baja California Sur, May 2017. Length: 22.0 cm (8.7 inches).