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Species: Eucinostomus melanopterus, Flagfin Mojarra

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body plain
spiny D tip black, white below that, dark below th
9 lower gill rakers
scaleless pit before eyes not closed/restricted at front by scales

Eucinostomus melanopterus (Bleeker, 1863)

Flagfin Mojarra

Body oval, fusiform, compressed, depth 28.6-38.5% of SL; eye large; the lower profile of the head distinctively concave; the mouth is highly extensible, pointing downward when protruded; jaws appear toothless but have tiny, brush-like teeth; lower border of preopercle smooth; bone under front of eye with smooth border; margin of bone under eye and of preopercle smooth; 9 lower gill rakers; dorsal fin IX, 10, 2nd spine </= distance between tip of snout and rear of eye, last spine short (5.8-7.1% of SL); anal rays III, 8, 2nd spine stronger but not longer than third; pectoral fin long, reaching origin of anal fin; tail fin deeply forked; scales large, conspicuous and finely rough, covering most of head and body; dorsal and anal fins fold into a high scaly sheath along their bases; pectorals without scales; scales extend before front of eye on top of snout around scaleless groove that is neither constricted on each side at front by scales, nor crossed by a row scales at front; lateral line scales 44-47.

Silvery, darker above; no distinct markings on body; spiny dorsal with a prominent black blotch on outer part, bordered inside by a white stripe, base of fin dusky; pelvic and anal fins pale yellow.

Grows to 19.3 cm.

On shallow sand, mud and shell bottoms, with or without vegetation; marine and brackish water.

Depth: 0-25 m.

The E and W Atlantic; S Carolina to central Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Beach
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continental primarily
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 19.3
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 25