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  • elongate
    D X-XI, 21-23, deep notch
    inner pectoral base: black blotch
    Atractoscion nobilis, White seabass, White weakfish
    no canines
    belly with ridge
  • D 21-23
    C: rounded
    Bairdiella armata, Armed croaker
    mouth opens under snout
    preopercle - 2 strong spines
    A: 2nd spine not reaching C
  • eye large
    pectoral, pelvic, A & C yellowish
    C: weakly angular
    Bairdiella ensifera, Sword-spine croaker
    mouth opens at front, obique
    preopercle - 2-3 strong spines
    A: 2nd spine reaches C
  • D 25-29
    pectoral base - black spot
    C: end straight
    Bairdiella icistia, the Bairdiella, Ronco croaker
    mouth opens at front, oblique
    angle of preopercle: 2-4 strong spines
    A: 2nd spine not to C
  • oblong, compressed
    mouth below snout
    dark + 1 pale bar & blotches
    Cheilotrema fasciatum, Arnillo drum
    operculum: large black blotch
    A: 2nd spine heavy, 8-9 rays
  • oblong, compressed
    mouth below snout
    dark + 1 pale bar & several blotches
    Cheilotrema saturnum, Black croaker
    operculum: large black blotch
    A: 2nd spine very long, heavy, 6-7
  • elongate, compressed
    eye large
    blue-grey + faint lines
    tail base long
    C concave
    Cilus gilberti, Corvina drum
    mouth large, oblique, opens at front
    no canines
    interior base of pectoral & gill chamber dark
  • oblong
    snout < eye
    pelvics & A black
    Ds & C yellowish
    C rounded
    Corvula macrops, Vacuoqua croaker, Big-eye croaker, Large-eye drum
    mouth oblique
    preoperculum smooth/slightly serrated
    A: 2nd spine 3/4 first ray, 9-11
  • elongate oval
    head large, spongy
    body - dark blotches
    D - black margin
    C: blunt point
    Ctenosciaena peruviana, Peruvian barbel drum
    chin: 1 thin flexible, pore-less barbel
    A II small spines
  • in mouth yellow
    lower jaw tip black
    D X(IX-X) +I, 19-22
    C: center point
    Cynoscion albus, Whitefin weakfish, Queen weakfish
    pectoral > pelvic
    LL 54-58
    scales: body & operculum rough, head smooth
    LL scales smaller
    D2 & A - low scale sheath
  • deep long head
    snout crest
    D 22-24
    LL scales enlarged
    Cynoscion analis, Peruvian weakfish
    pectorals reach pelvic tips
    lower gill rakers 9-11
    A 14-15
    pectoral 27-28
    all scales smooth
    D2 & A scaled
  • large head & eye
    D IX-X+ I, 18-21
    C edge: blunt, angular/rounded
    Cynoscion nannus, Dwarf corvina, Dwarf weakfish, Deepwater weakfish
    roof mouth & gill chamber black
    pectoral long
    soft D & A: inner 1/2 scaled
    rear 3/4 body scales rough
  • large head & eye
    D X-XI+ I, 23-26
    C edge: straight/pointed
    Cynoscion nortoni, Hake weakfish
    in mouth & gill chamber black
    pectoral long
    soft D & A: few basal scales
    body scales rough
  • D IX-X + I, 23-27
    LL 54-66
    Cynoscion othonopterus, Gulf corvina, Gulf weakfish
    lower gill rakers 13-16
    D2 & A ~completely scaled
    body scales rough
  • D VII-VIII + I, 21-23
    Cynoscion parvipinnis, Shortfin corvina, Shortfin weakfish
    inside operculum & pectoral base dark
    in mouth orange, dark crescent behind lower teeth
    pectoral 15-16, < pelvic
    all scales rough
    D2 & A thin basal scale sheath
  • head pointed
    mouth v oblique, opens above mid-eye level
    Cynoscion phoxocephalus, Sharpnose corvina, Sharp-nose weakfish, Cachema weakfish
    gill rakers short
    pectoral < pelvic
    all scales smooth
    D2 & A not scaled
  • head large, deep
    ridge along snout
    bulging lower jaw
    D IX-X + I, 18-21
    C: blunt point
    Cynoscion praedatorius, Boccone weakfish
    inside mouth orange
    A II, 9
    all scales smooth
    D2 & A fully scaled
  • back: thin, oblique stripes
    D X + I, 25-29
    Cynoscion reticulatus, Striped corvina, Striped weakfish
    scales almost all rough
    D2 & A no scales
  • D VII-VIII + 1, 21-23
    C: blunt point
    Cynoscion squamipinnis, Scalyfin corvina, Yellow-mouth weakfish, Scale-fin weakfish
    mouth ends after eye, orange inside
    lower gill rakers: 9-10
    D2 & A ~all scaled
    all scales rough
  • head conical, top profile slightly concave
    D X + I, 19-21
    C: S shape, yellow
    Cynoscion stolzmanni, Yellowtail corvina, Stolzmann's weakfish, Yellowtail weakfish
    inside operculum & pectoral base: black
    in mouth orange, dark crescent behind lower teeth
    pectoral < pelvic
    all scales rough
    D2 & A scaleless
  • mouth reaches past eye
    D IX + I, 19-20
    C: blunt point
    Cynoscion xanthulus, Orangemouth corvina, Orange-mouth weakfish
    inside mouth orange
    pectoral well short pelvic tip
    scales: body rough, head & operculum smooth
    D2 & A - low scale sheath
    LL 58-68 pores
  • elongate, compressed; mouth large, oblique
    adult plain
    juvenile - 2 stripes + C base spot
    C straight
    Elattarchus archidium, Bluish croaker, Bluestreak drum
    large canines - front lower jaw
    preopercle angle: 5-6 spines, lowest points down
    A: II (2nd long, thin), 8-9
  • elongate
    D: large space between 2 parts
    Isopisthus remifer, Bigeye corvina, Silver weakfish
    front top jaws: 1-2 large, curved canines
    A long base (17-19), short spines
  • oblique lines above LL, straight below
    Larimus acclivis, Steeplined drum
    mouth very oblique, ends just behind center eye
    chin 4 pores
    pectoral 14-15
  • ridge on head spongy
    Larimus argenteus, Silver drum
    mouth ~ vertical, ends before eye
    23-26 gill rakers
    chin 2 pores
  • head: hard crest
    Larimus effulgens, Shining drum
    mouth extremely oblique, ends before center eye
    gill rakers 26-31
    chin 2 pores
  • elongate, oval, no hump
    C: blunt point
    Larimus pacificus, Pacific drum
    mouth oblique, ends behind center eye
    chin 4 pores
    pectoral 16-17, reaches anus
  • C: S shape
    Macrodon mordax, Toothed weakfish, Dog-tooth weakfish
    front top & bottom jaws: large canines with arrow points
    A: 9-10 rays, spines weak
  • elongate, slender
    D1: X, 3rd spine passes origin D2
    C: S shape
    Menticirrhus elongatus, Pacific king-croaker, Slender king-croaker, Slender kingfish
    pectoral 17-20
    A 7
    soft D & A - scaled
    breast scales v small
  • eye not small
    D1 X, high, black
    Menticirrhus nasus, Highfin king-croaker, Highfin kingfish
    pectoral: large, black fan
    A 8
  • elongate
    D1: XI-XII, spines not reaching D2
    C: slightly concave
    Menticirrhus ophicephalus, Snakehead king-croaker
    pectoral: short
    LL 63-66
    breast scales v small
  • elongate, slender
    D1: X-XII, longest spine reaches origin D2
    C: S shape
    Menticirrhus paitensis, Paita king-croaker, Paita kingfish
    size of breast scales ~ body scales
    pectoral 21-23
    A 7
  • eye small
    D: IX-X + I, 18-22, long spines
    C: S shape
    Menticirrhus panamensis, Panama king-croaker, Panama kingfish
    pectoral long, black
  • lower profile horizontal
    D1: X, 3rd spine not reaching D2
    C: S shape
    Menticirrhus undulatus, California corvina, California king-croaker
    pectoral medium, black
    A 8-9
    breast scales v small
  • eye small
    D: front high; 19-23
    Micropogonias altipinnis, Highfin croaker, Golden croaker, Tallfin croaker
    chin: 4-5 pairs barbels
    preoperculum - 2 spines at angle
  • flank: 10-12 short oblique bars
    D: front not high, 23-26
    Micropogonias ectenes, Slender croaker
    chin: 4 pairs barbels
  • eye large
    D: front low; 27-29
    Micropogonias megalops, Bigeye croaker, Gulf croaker
    chin: 3 pairs barbels
    preoperculum - 2 spines at angle
  • head spongy
    eye very small
    elongate, rounded
    Nebris occidentalis, Pacific small-eye croaker
    mouth large, oblique, lower jaw projects
  • D2 II-III
    fins grey
    Odontoscion eurymesops, Galapagos croaker
    no canine teeth
    A: 2nd spine = longest ray
  • D2 I spine
    pelvic & A black
    Odontoscion xanthops, Yellow-eye croaker
    lower jaw - pair large canines
    A: 2nd spine < longest ray
  • mouth ends under pupil
    C: angular point
    Ophioscion imiceps, Smallmouth croaker, Blinkard croaker
    preopercle: 8-10 spines
    pectoral 16-17
    A: 8; 2nd spine long
  • dark lines along scale rows
    D 24-26
    C: round or S shape
    Ophioscion scierus, Tuza croaker, Dusky croaker
    preopercle: 8-10 strong teeth
    gill rakers 18-23
    A: 2nd spine thick, long, 7
  • elongate
    snout rounded
    C: S shape or rounded
    Ophioscion simulus, Snub-nosed croaker
    preopercle: 14-16 weak spines
    A: 2nd spine thick, long, 7
  • C: angular point
    Ophioscion strabo, Low-head croaker, Squint-eyed croaker
    preopercle: 5-7 large teeth
    A: 7; 2nd spine thick, 80% 1st ray
  • D 21-23
    C: angular point
    Ophioscion typicus, Point-nosed croaker, Racer croaker
    preopercle: 8-10 spines
    gill rakers 22-26
    A: 7; 2nd spine long, thick
  • oblique dark lines along scale rows
    C: S shape
    Ophioscion vermicularis, Vemiculate croaker, Wormlined croaker
    preopercle: 15-17 fine teeth
    pectoral 19-20
    A: 8, 2nd spine long, thick
  • 5 bars + blotch on tail base
    D: 23-26
    Paralonchurus dumerilii, Suco croaker, Banded croaker
    chin: 11-13 pairs barbels
    A 7
  • eye small
    body - 4 faint bars
    D: 27-28
    C point below midline
    Paralonchurus goodei, Angel croaker, Goode's croaker
    chin: ~ 30 pairs small barbels
    pectoral: black
    A 7
  • 7-8 bars
    D: 25-27
    C: S shape
    Paralonchurus peruanus, Peruvian banded croaker
    chin: 12-15 barbels
    inside operculum dark
    A 8-9
  • all dark, no bars
    C: pointed, longer below
    Paralonchurus petersii, Buefin croaker, Peters' banded croaker
    chin 22-24 barbels
    pectoral very large, black
  • blotch behind operculum + 6-7 bars
    D 28-30
    Paralonchurus rathbuni, Bearded banded croaker, Blotched croaker
    chin: 9-10 pairs barbels
    A 8-9
  • elongate
    C long, rhomboidal
    Paranebris bauchotae, Goose-billed croaker
    toothless notch - front top jaw
    top & bottom teeth not touching
    preoperculum covered with skin
  • head & body: 6-7 dark stripes
    D2, C & A: black & white borders
    D2 37-42; A 6-7
    C round
    Pareques fuscovittatus, Fusco drum, Festive drum, Fusco highhat
  • body: 4 black stripes
    D2 35-38; A 7-8
    tail: blunt point
    Pareques lanfeari, Royal highhat
  • uniform dark grey
    juvenile: 8-9 undulating stripes, black fin edges
    D2 32-33; A 8
    Pareques perissa, Galapagos rock croaker, Odd highhat
  • dark grey, +/- 4-7 dark stripes
    juvenile - 7-8 thin stripes
    D VII-VIII + I, 42-45
    Pareques species A, Rock croaker, Pacific highhat
    opercle: scales smooth
    19-23 gill rakers
  • dark grey
    juvenile: 4 thick + 3 thin stripes
    D: IX + I, 40-41
    Pareques viola, Lined highhat, Gungo highhat
    operculum: scales rough
    17 gill rakers
  • oblong
    snout blunt, overhangs horizontal mouth
    pectoral base: black blotch
    Roncador stearnsii, Spotfin croaker
    A: 8, 2nd spine slender, 3/4 1s ray
  • nape profile rounded
    Sciaena callaensis, Callao drum
    mouth opens well below eye
    jaw teeth - narrow bands, outer teeth close-set, elongate
    A short
  • elongate, fusiform
    head low, conical
    upper opercle margin black
    Sciaena deliciosa, Delicious drum
    mouth opens on line with lower edge eye
    jaw teeth - wide bands, outer teeth spread apart, little elongate
  • elongate, lower profile straight
    snout overhangs horizontal mouth
    copper, 1-3 ocelli on top tail base
    A 8-9, 2nd spine slender, 1/2 1st ray
  • elongate, compressed
    large space between D1 & D2
    lines along scale rows
    Seriphus politus, Queen croaker, the Queenfish
    mouth oblique, lower jaw projects
    no canines
    pectoral base dark
    A 21-23, spines short, thin
  • head spongy, snout overhangs
    dark lines on scale rows
    D X-XI
    C: blunt point
    Stellifer chrysoleuca, Striped stardrum, Short-nose stardrum
    preopercle 9-14 serrations
    chin 6 pores
    21-26 gill rakers
    A 8-9
  • head spongy
    eye small
    C: long point
    Stellifer ephelis, Swift stardrum
    chin: 4 pores, large knob
    preopercle: 4-9 spines
    A 8
    LL 41-46 pores
  • head spongy, forehead concave
    C: long point
    Stellifer ericymba, Hollow stardrum, Chimbera stardrum
    preopercle: 4-9 spines
    chin: 4 pores
    inside lower front teeth - black crescent
    pelvic + filament
    A 9
    LL 47-50 pores
  • head firm, forehead concave
    snout pointed, overhanging
    C: blunt point or rounded
    Stellifer fuerthii, White stardrum
    roof of mouth black
    preopercle: 2 spines, lower points down
    pelvics with filaments
    5-6 scale rows- LL to D origin
  • head firm, snout overhanging
    C: blunt point
    Stellifer illecebrosus, Silver stardrum, Charcoal stardrum
    preopercle: 9-12 spines
    chin: 6 pores
    pelvic with filament
    17-21 gill rakers
    A: 2nd spine 2/3 1st ray
  • body robust
    head spongy
    D XII + III
    Stellifer mancorensis, Smooth stardrum, Fat stardrum
    preopercle: soft,membranous teeth
    A: 2nd spine short, 12-13
  • head spongy, nape scales rough
    D1 & pectorals black
    C: rounded
    Stellifer melanocheir, Black stardrum
    roof of mouth pale
    chin with 6 pores
    preopercle: 2 spines
    gill rakers 41-43
    pectoral reaches A origin
  • head firm
    lines along scale rows
    Stellifer minor, Minor stardrum
    chin - small knob, 6 pores
    preopercle 5-8 spines
    31-39 gill rakers
    A 11
  • head firm
    nape scales smooth
    pectoral bronze
    C: blunt point
    Stellifer oscitans, Yawning stardrum
    roof of mouth dark
    chin: 6 pores
    preopercle: 2 strong spines
    gill rakers 45-52
    pectoral reaches anus
  • head spongy
    snout v short; eye -large oval
    scales smooth - front D to LL
    Stellifer pizarroensis, Pizarro stardrum
    chin: 4 pores, central ridge
    preopercle: 2 spines
    50-57 gill rakers
    pectoral long
    A 10-11
  • head firm
    mouth large, oblique
    Stellifer walkeri, Profesor stardrum
    preopercle 2 spines
    36-38 gill rakers
    pectoral reaches anus
    A 9
  • head low, firm
    snout projecting
    C: blunt point to round
    Stellifer wintersteenorum, Amigo stardrum
    preopercle: 2 strong spines
    roof mouth black
    pectoral base - black blotch
    7-8 scale rows, LL to D origin
  • head spongy; eye large
    very short snout; mouth opens at front
    C: long point
    Stellifer zestocarus, Softhead stardrum, Bigeye stardrum
    preopercle: 1 strong spine
    29-30 gill rakers
  • elongate, compressed
    head pointed
    D 23-26; A 7-8
    LL 50-56
    Totoaba macdonaldi, the Totoaba
    mouth large, oblique
    no canines
  • oblique lines on scale rows
    D 24-26
    A 2nd spine = 1st ray
    C: straight
    Umbrina analis, Longspine croaker, Long-spine drum
    inside operculum pale
    pectoral 17
    pelvics yellowish
    A: 6; 2nd spine thick, = 1st ray
  • body oval
    large eye
    D 21-23
    C: S or blunt point
    Umbrina bussingi, Bigeye croaker, Bussing's drum, Big-eye drum
    grey, no stripes
    inside operculum black
    pectoral long
    A: 2nd spine thick, ~ 1st ray
  • dark stripes on scale rows
    inside gill chamber pale
    D X + I, 28-33
    C: slightly concave
    Umbrina dorsalis, Longfin croaker, Long-fin drum
    snout very short
    A: 7-8; 2nd spine thick, 3/4 1st ray
  • +/- faint lines on scale rows
    inside gill chamber pale
    D 26-30
    C: straight
    Umbrina galapagorum, Galapagos drum
    pectoral 18
    A: 2nd spine thick, 3/4 1st ray
  • oblique lines along scale rows
    fins yellow
    D 24-31
    C: straight
    Umbrina roncador, Yellowfin croaker, Yellow-fin drum
    in operculum black; gut cavity dark
    A: 7; 2nd spine thick, ~ 1/2 1st ray
  • dark lines on scale rows
    D 23-28
    C: rounded
    Umbrina wintersteeni, Cortez croaker, Wintersteen's drum
    pelvics dark
    gill chamber pale
    pectoral 17
    A: 5-6; 2nd spine thick, ~1/2 1st ray
  • top scale rows - oblique lines
    D 26-32
    C: slightly concave
    Umbrina xanti, Surf croaker, Polla drum, Golden drum
    inside operculum black; gut cavity pale
    A: 6; 2nd spine slender, 3/4 1st ray