Eastern Pacific Codlet
Bacalete del Pacifico Oriental, Merlucita del Pacific Oriental
(Bregmaceros bathymaster)

Eastern Pacific Codlet, Bregmaceros bathymaster: The Eastern Pacific Codlet is a very rare virtually unknown inshore species that is a member of the Bregmacerotidae Family. The family has one genus with 12 known global species only one of which is found in Mexican waters.

The Eastern Pacific Codlet has a small elongated body this is brown on the upper half and silvery white on the lower half. It has a brown head with the mouth at the front, and translucent fins.

The body of the this fish species is covered with small smooth thin scales. It is characterized by having a long single dorsal fin ray (not pictured below) that originates midway between the eyes and the pectoral fins that is well separated from the rest of the dorsal fin. The central part of the dorsal fin has short rays.

The anal fin is a mirror image of the rear portion of the dorsal fin. The caudal fin has a dark line at its base and is very small and lunate. The pelvic fins have 5 to 7 rays, that originate on the throat under the operculum (gill covers). Three of these pelvic fin rays are very long, free rays (as pictured below) and the others are short and branched.

The Eastern Pacific Codlet reaches a maximum length of 4 inches and is found up to 3,800 feet deep in the water column over sandy soft bottoms. Due to its uniquely shaped dorsal and pelvic fins, it cannot be confused with any other fish species.

Distribution in Mexico fishing areas

In Mexican fishing waters the Eastern Pacific Codlet is found south of Magdalena Bay, along the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula, in the lower half of the Sea of Cortez, and along the coast of the Mexican mainland south to Guatemala.

Eastern Pacific Codlet picture

Eastern Pacific Codlet, Bregmaceros bathymaster: Collected as a by-catch regurgitated by a Pacific Red Snapper taken in 300 feet of water off Point Palmilla, Baja California Sur, Mexico, in July 2011. Size approximately 2 inches. Description and photo courtesy of John Snow.

Eastern Pacific Codlet fish picture

Eastern Pacific Codlet, Bregmaceros bathymaster: Collected as a by-catch regurgitated by a monster fish taken in 300 feet of water adjacent to the Inner Gordo Bank, during fishing 10 miles east of La Playita, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico, in December 2006. Size approximately 2 inches. Identification courtesy of H.J. Walker, Jr. Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif. Description and photo courtesy of John Snow.

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