Eucinostomus melanopterus (Bleeker, 1863)
Flagfin mojarra
Eucinostomus melanopterus
photo by Bertoncini, A.A.

Family:  Gerreidae (Mojarras)
Max. size:  30 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 26.5 g
Environment:  demersal; depth range 0 - 25 m, amphidromous
Distribution:  Eastern Atlantic: west African coast, from Senegal to Angola (Ref. 57394). Also reported from Mauritania (Ref. 5377, 7352). Western Atlantic: Bermuda and Florida, USA to Brazil; not found in the Bahamas (Ref. 7251).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 9-9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10-10; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 7-8. Diagnosis: body fusiform and compressed; snout pointed; mouth strongly protrusible; nostrils contiguous, positioned nearer to eye than to snout tip; dorsal fin deeply notched; tips of pectoral fins not reaching to anal-fin origin; scales cycloid on head and finely ctenoid on body; scales of interocular space reaching anterior border of eyes; tip of spinous dorsal fin with a black spot, underlined by a whitish band (Ref. 57394). Coloration: back olivaceous, sides silvery; a characteristic black spot at tip of spiny part of dorsal fin; young individuals may show dark vertical bars on back and sides (Ref. 57394).
Biology:  A coastal species entering estuaries, lower courses of coastal rivers, and lagoons (Ref. 4323, 7352, 57394). Found over sand or mud bottoms (Ref. 3722, 57394). Feeds on fish, shrimps, mollusks, zooplankton and detritus (Ref. 28587); including other benthic crustaceans and polychaetes. Forages at daytime in small groups, hovering close to the bottom and either picks off prey on the substrate or digs into it sifting the mouthed sediment through its opercular openings. Its conspicuous black tip on dorsal fin is mimicked by juvenile guianan snooks, Centropomus mexicanus, an example of aggressive mimicry (Ref. 43465). Marketed fresh but not highly esteemed (Ref. 3722).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 01 March 2010 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.10.90
Modified by: Abucay, Luisa - 04.10.18
Checked by: Garilao, Cristina V. - 26.03.98

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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