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Gerreidae (Mojarras)

Species Currently in the DFL

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Gerres cinereus
Yellow Fin Mojarra
About This Family
Occur in most warm seas; dominantly marine, but occasionally occur in brackish and freshwater.
Sand bottoms, also found over rocky bottoms or reef edges with numerous sand patches nearby; some marine species enter rivers.
Mojarras are silvery schooling fishes with compressed bodies, strongly protrusible mouths, and a distinct concave profile to the head. They have a deeply forked caudal fin, a continuous dorsal fin, and a scaly sheath along the bases of the dorsal and anal fins. Their teeth are tiny and brushlike, with none on the roof of the mouth.

Mojarras feed on buried invertebrates by digging through the sand with their protractile mouths, inhaling sediments, and expelling them out of their gill openings. Any small invertebrates, such as polychaete worms or crustaceans, are retained in the gill rakers.

When threatened, some species bury themselves completely in the sand.

This family consists of eight genera with about 44 species.

Allen & Robertson 1994; Helfman et al. 1997; Nelson 2006; Thomson et al. 2000
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