Eucinostomus lefroyi is a member of the family Gerreidae. The
Eucinostomus genus is distinguished from other members of the family
Gerreidae by the interhaemal cone, an unusual cone-shaped structure formed
from the first two anal pterygiophores that encloses the posterior end of
the air bladder (Matheson et al. 1984). In general, mojarras are small- to
medium-sized silvery compressed fishes.
Potentially Misidentified Species
E. lefroyi is distinguished from other mojarras by the mottled
coloration on its back that appears as six wavy lateral lines connected by
eight lateral dots. Their body shape ranges from slightly elongate to
elongate. The head features a pointed snout and a highly protrusible mouth
(Randall 1996). There is a single dorsal fin usually with spines and 10
soft rays. The anal fin has two spines. The dorsal and anal fins fold
into a scaly sheath at the base. The caudal fin is deeply forked and
covered with small scales.
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION
Members in the family Gerreidae are usually found in muddy and sandy
bottoms of estuaries, but are also recorded from fresh water tributaries,
sand beaches, shallow reef formations and open waters between the low tide
mark and 200 m (Kerschner et. al. 1985, Randall 1996, Chen et al. 2007).
Eucinostomus lefroyi occurs in the western Atlantic from North
Carolina to Bermuda to the northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil (Randall
1996). This fish is a major component of estuarine fish communities
(Kerschner et. al. 1985). Adults prefer the sandy shores while the
distribution of juveniles is more widespread.
The mottled mojarra is common in the near shore waters of Florida and occurs mainly in and near inlets of the IRL (Kerschner et al. 1985).
LIFE HISTORY AND POPULATION BIOLOGY
Age, Size, Lifespan
Individual mottled mojarra in the Indian River Lagoon range in size from 10 to 69 mm (Kerschner et al. 1985). The standard length is recorded from the tip of the upper jar to the base of tail and is reported to be 79 to 91 mm. Maximum recorded length is 20.3 cm but adults are usually smaller (Randall 1996).
In the Indian River Lagoon, mottled mojarra were recorded to comprise of 10% of the catch of members of the Gerreidae (Kerschner et al. 1985).
Members of the family Gerreidae spawn during the warmer summer months (Godefroid et al. 2001).
Larval fishes and juveniles in the family Gerreidae inhabit the shallow estuaries in the warmer summer months (Godefroid et al. 2001).
No information is available at this time
Eucinostomus lefroyi is a benthic feeder and uses its highly protrusible mouth to forage for infaunal invertebrates, feeding primarily on bivalves, copepods, other crustaceans and polychaetes (worms) (Kerschner et al. 1985).
No information is available at this time
Chen W-J, Ruiz-Carus R, and G Ort'. 2007. Relationships among four genera
of mojarras (Teleostei: Perciformes: Gerridae) from the western Atlantic
and their tentative placement among percomorph fishes. Journal of Fish
Biology 70B:202-218. Delgado P. 2004. Fish, Crustaceans, and Mollusks
found in U.S. Caribbean Wetlands, NOAA.
Fishbase. Available online.
Godefroid RS, Santos C, Hofstaetter M, and HL Spach. 2001. Occurrence of
larvae and juveniles of Eucinostomus argeneus, Eucinostomus gula,
Menticirrhus americanus, Menticirrhus littoralis, Umbrina coroides and
Micropogonias furnieri at Pontal do Sul beach, Parana. Brazilian
Archives of Biology and Technology 44:411-418.
ITIS. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Available online.
Kerschner BA, Peterson MS, and RG Gilmore, Jr. 1985. Ecotopic and
ontogenetic trophic variation in mojarras (Pisces: Gerreidae). Estuaries
Matheson, RE, Jr. and JD McEachran. 1984. Taxonomic studies of the
Eucinostomus argenteus complex (Pisces: Gerreidae): preliminary
studies of external morphology. Copeia 4:893-902.
Randall, JE. 1996. Caribbean Reef Fishes, TFH Publications, Neptune City, NJ ZipCodeZoo. Available online.
Melany P. Puglisi, Smithsonian Marine Station
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Page last updated: October 1, 2008