Mojarras, in general, are schooling coastal fishes with extremely protrusible mouths, which they use to capture bottom-dwelling invertebrates. They are abundant in coastal waters, bays, and estuaries in tropical and warm-temperate regions. They are most common over grassy, sandy, or other open bottoms, but not around reefs (Robins and Ray 1986).
Striped Mojarras (Eugerres plumieri) are rather deep-bodied fish, dark olive above and tan to silvery on the sides, often with a metallic sheen. Bold black stripes run along the scale rows (excluding the belly). All fins except for the pectoral fins are dusky in large adults; the pelvic and anal fins are sometimes dark orange. The pectoral fin is transparent. The pelvic spine and the first two (of three) anal spines are pale. The dorsal and anal spines are long and stout. Adults may reach 30 cm in length (maximum known size is 40 cm total length) (Robins and Ray 1986).
Striped Mojarras are found from South Carolina (U.S.A.) and the entire Gulf of Mexico to Brazil, but are apparently absent from the Bahamas and some of the smaller islands of the West Indies. In the Gulf of Mexico, they are found along the west Florida coast north to about the middle of the peninsula and along the coasts of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, and Campeche. They are found in grassy areas and in brackish and coastal fresh waters (in limestone regions). They are often associated with mangrove-lined lagoons and muddy-bottomed coastal areas, often entering brackish and fresh water (Robins and Ray 1986; McEachran and Fechheld 2005).
In a study in Mexico, Aguirre-León and and Diaz-Ruíz (2000) found that the principal food items consumed by Striped Mojarras were ostracods, foraminifers, nematodes, and tanaidacean crustaceans.
In many areas, the Striped Mojarra is of significant commercial and recreational value, although some populations have been declining due to overfishing (Rueda and Santos-Martínez 1999; Rodriguez-Sierra and Jiménez 2002; Aguirre-León and and Diaz-Ruíz).
Deckert and Greenfield (1987) reviewed the taxonomy and nomenclature of the western Atlanic species of Eugerres and the closely related genus Diapterus and Gonzalez-Acosta et al. (2007) provide a more recent taxonomic review of the western Atlantic species of Eugerres. Chen et al. (2007) present a molecular phylogenetic analysis of the relationships among four genera of western Atlantic Gerreidae, including Eugerres plumieri as one of the sampled species.
- Robins, C. R., and Ray, G. C. (1986). A Field Guide to Atlantic Coast fishes of North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
- Rueda, M. and Santos-Martínez, A. 1999. Population dynamics of the striped mojarra Eugerres plumieri from the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, Colombia. Fisheries Research 42: 155-166.
- Rodriguez-Sierra, C.J. and Jiménez, B. 2002. Trace metals in striped mojarra ﬁsh (Diapterus plumieri) from Puerto Rico. Marine Pollution Bulletin 44: 1039-1045.
- Aguirre-León, A. and Diaz-Ruíz, S. 2000. Population structure, gonadal maturity and feeding habits of Eugerres plumieri (Gerreidae) in the Pomatasta fluvial-deltaic system, Mexico. Ciencias Marinas 26 (2): 253-273.
- Chen, W.-J., Ruiz-Carus, R., and Orti, G. 2007. Relationships among four genera of mojarras (Teleostei : Perciformes : Gerreidae) from the western Atlantic and their tentative placement among percomorph fishes. Journal of Fish Biology 70, supplement B: 202-218.
- Gonzalez-Acosta, A.F., De la Cruz-Aguero, J., and Castro-Aguirre, J.L. 2007. A review of the marine western Atlantic species of the genus Eugerres (Perciformes : Gerreidae). Bulletin of Marine Science 80 (1): 109-124.
- Deckert, G.D. and D.W. Greenfield. 1987. A review of the western Atlantic species of the genera Diapterus and Eugerres (Pisces: Gerreidae). Copeia 1987 (1): 182-194.
- McEachran, J.D. and Fechhelm, J.D. 2005. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico. Volume 2:Scorpaeniformes to Tetraodontiformes. University of Texas Press, Austin.