Striped Corvina

Striped Corvina, Cynoscion reticulates

The Striped Corvina, Cynoscion reticulatus, whose common Spanish name is corvina rayada, is a species in the Croaker or Sciaenidae Family, known collectively as berrugatras and corvinas in Mexico. Globally, there are twenty-four species in the genus Cynoscion, thirteen of which are found in Mexican waters, three in the Atlantic and ten in the Pacific.

The Striped Corvinas have elongated deep compressed bodies with an oval cross-section. They have a silvery coloration with brownish wavy streaks on their back and sides and a pale band along their lateral line. The base of their pectoral fin is dark, their dorsal and pectoral fins are dusky, and all their other fins are yellowish. Their head is conical with a large oblique mouth that extends below the middle of the eyes. They, like many other croakers have orange mouths. They do not have chin barbels. Their anal fin has two spines and 9 rays; their caudal fin has a straight margin; their dorsal fin has a long base with a deep notch and the first part has 9 spines and the second has one spine and 25 to 29 rays; and, their pectoral fins are long and reach beyond the pelvic fins. They have 6 to 8 lower gill rakers and are covered with rough scales.

The Striped Corvinas are found demersal over sandy bottoms along the shore, in the surf zone, and in inshore bays and estuaries at depths up to 350 feet. They reach a maximum length of 90 cm (35 inches). The STriped Corvina are poorly studied and very little is known about their behavioral patterns.

In Mexican waters the Striped Corvina 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.

The Striped Corvina is very similar in appearance to a series of other Croakers, however, it is the only corvina with striping on its back.

The Striped Corvina are caught primarily on cut bait (clams, squid, mullet, etc.) with small hooks and bottom rigs. They are viewed by locals as excellent table fare.

Striped Corvina, Cynoscion reticulates: Caught in the surf zone, Puerto Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, April 2008, pre-dawn on a Sabiki Rig. Length: 42 cm (16.5 inches). Identification courtesy of Dr. Ross Robertson, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama and reconfirmed by H.J. Walker, Jr., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA.

Striped Corvina, Cynoscion reticulates. Fish caught from coastal waters off Puerto Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, April 2008. Length: 42 cm (17 inches). Identification courtesy of Dr. Ross Robertson, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama and reconfirmed by H.J. Walker, Jr., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA.

Striped Corvina, Cynoscion reticulates. Fish caught from coastal waters off Mazatlán, Sinaloa, April 2013. Length: 56 cm (22 inches). Catch, photo and identification courtesy of George Brinkman, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Striped Corvina, Cynoscion reticulates. Fish caught from coastal waters off Mazatlán, Sinaloa, April 2015. Length: 58 cm (23 inches). Catch, photo and identification courtesy of Michael Verdirame, Markham, Ontario, Canada.

Striped Corvina, Cynoscion reticulates. Fish caught from coastal waters off Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, Baja California Sur, January 2017. Length: 59 cm (23 inches). Catch and photo courtesy of Brad Murakami, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.