Yellowfin Mojarra

Yellowfin Mojarra, Gerres cinereus

The Yellowfin Mojarra, Gerres cinereus, whose common Spanish name is mojarra trompetera and whose local name is trompuda, is a species in the Mojarra or Gerreidae Family, known collectively as mojarras in Mexico. Globally, there twenty-eight species in the genus Gerres, and this species is the only one found in Mexican waters being one of the few species found in both the Atlantic and the Pacific.

The Yellowfin Mojarras have oval-shaped moderately deep compressed bodies that have depths that are 38 to 42% of standard length. They are silvery white in color with eight faint dark bars on their sides. Their anal and pelvic fins are yellow. 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. The lower border of their gill covers is smooth. Their anal fin has two spines and 7 rays and the second spine is longer than the caudal fin base. 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 long and reach past the anal fin origin. Their lateral line is slightly arched. Their head and body are covered with rough scales.

The Yellowfin Mojarras reside in shallow coastal areas including mangrove estuaries and fresh water lagoons at depths up to 350 feet. They have a maximum length of 47 cm (19 inches). They are a poorly studied species and very limited information is available about their behavioral patterns.

In Mexican waters the Yellowfin Mojarras are found in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. In the Atlantic they are found in all coastal waters. In the Pacific they are found from Magdalena Bay southward along the southwest coast of Baja, in the southern two-thirds of the Sea of Cortez, and along the coast of the mainland south to Guatemala.

The Yellowfin Mojarra can be confused with the Darkspot Mojarra, Eucinostomus entomelas (short second anal spine; no bars on sides) and the Pacific Spotfin Mojarra, Eucinostomus dowii (short second anal spine; no bars on sides). The Yellowfin Mojarras are sold commercially in the major Mexican food stores and are considered an excellent food fish.

Yellowfin Mojarra, Gerres cinereus. Fish provided by the commercial bait salesmen of Puerto Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, September 2003. Length: 20 cm (7.9 inches). Fish identification courtesy of Dr. Ross Robertson, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama.

Yellowfin Mojarra, Gerres cinereus. Fish caught from coastal waters off Sugarloaf Key, Florida, August 2014. Length: 30 cm (12 inches). Catch and photo courtesy of Dean Kimberly, Atlanta, GA.

Yellowfin Mojarra (3)

Yellowfin Mojarra, Gerres cinereus. Commercial fish courtesy of Central Fish Market, San San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, January 2015. Length: 25 cm (10 inches).

Yellowfin Mojarra, Gerres cinereus. Fish caught by commercial fishermen with a cast net within the estuary of Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, Baja California Sur, October 2017. Length: 23.5 cm (9.3 inches).