Striped Mojarra, Eugerres plumieri
The Striped Mojarra, Eugerres plumieri, whose common Spanish name is mojarra rayada, is a species in the Mojarra or Gerreidae Family, known collectively as mojarras in Mexico. Globally, there are only seven species in the genus Eugerres, of which six are found in Mexican waters, three in the Atlantic and three in the Pacific.
The Striped Mojarras have rhomboidal, deep, and compressed bodies with a depth that is 48% to 52% of standard length. They are silvery overall and darker dorsally with thin dark lines along their scale rows. Their dorsal fin is dark and their other fins are dusky. Their head has a gently curved upper profile and a concave lower profile. Their mouth ends under the center of the eyes and is slightly extensible, pointing downward when protruded. Their anal fin has three spines and eight or nine rays with the second spine being long and thick but not reaching past the tail base; their caudal fin is forked; their dorsal fin has nine spines and is elevated at the front; their pectoral fins are long and pointed reaching past the anal fin origin; and their pelvic fins have one strong, stout, and thick spine. They have 13 to 17 lower gill rakers and their gill covers are serrated. They are covered with rough scales.
The Striped Mojarras reside in shallow coastal areas and lagoons at depths up to 100 feet and are often found in freshwater. They reach 40 cm (16 inches) in length and 1 kg (2.2 pounds) in weight. They consume aquatic insects, crustaceans, micro-bivalves, and detritus. Reproduction is oviparous with each female producing 14,000 and 136,000 eggs per annum. They are a poorly studied species and very little is known about their behavioral patterns.
In Mexican waters the Striped Mojarras are found in all waters of the Atlantic.
The Striped Mojarra can be easily confused with the Black Axillary Mojarra, Eugerres axillaris (black pectoral base; concave head profile; Pacific Ocean only) and the Maracaibo Mojarra, Eugerres awlae (second anal spine extending past the tail base).
From a conservation perspective, the Striped Mojarras are currently considered of Least Concern, being abundant with a wide distribution. Although small, they are targeted by commercial and artisanal fishermen and sold commercially for bait, fish meal, and food; they are considered an excellent food fish. They are also bred in captivity for food.
Striped Mojarra, Eugerres plumieri. Commercial fish courtesy of Soriana’s Mercado, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, September 2017. Length: 21.0 cm (8.3 inches). Noteworthy is the atypical all black dorsal fin.
Striped Mojarra, Eugerres plumieri. Commercial fish courtesy of Soriana’s Mercado, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, July 2017. Length: 23.5 cm (9.3 inches).