East Pacific Codlet, Bregmaceros bathymaster
The East Pacific Codlet, Bregmaceros bathymaster, whose common Spanish name is bacalete de Pacifico oriental, is a species in the family Bregmacerotidae, the Codlets, known as bracaletes in Mexico. Globally, there are eleven species in the Bregmacerotidae Family, all placed in the genus Bregmaceros, of which three are found in Mexican waters, two in the Atlantic and one in the Pacific.
The East Pacific Codlet has a small elongated slightly compressed body that is cigar shaped. They are reddish-brown dorsally and silvery white ventrally. Their fins are translucent. The head is short with a disproportionately large eye, and a mouth that opens at the front and extends to mid-eye equipped with one or two series of minute slender teeth on each jaw. The anal fin has a long base and is similar to the second dorsal fin with forty four to fifty rays. The caudal fin small, lunate but is well developed and separate from the anal and dorsal fins. They have two dorsal fins: the first is long originating on top of the rear portion of the head (the occipital ray, not pictured below), and well separated from the second which has very short rays with one spine and forty four to forty nine rays. They have short pectoral fins located high on the sides. The pelvic fins are on the throat under the gill covers with five to seven rays with the outer three being very long, thick, and free that extend well past the anal fin origin, and the inner three or four being short and branched. The lateral line is high on the back under the dorsal fin base. The body is covered with small smooth thin scales.
The East Pacific Codlet is a pelagic species that is reside over soft bottoms on the continental shelf and slope. They are found at depths between the surface and 4,000 feet and believed to be vertical migrators moving toward the surface at night to feed on plankton and retreating at night toward the bottom to avoid predation. They reach a maximum length of 10 cm (3.9 inches). Reproduction is oviparous with planktonic eggs and larvae. In Mexican waters the East Pacific Codlet are found from Magdalena Bay south along the southwest coast of Baja, in the southern half of the Sea of Cortez and along the coast of the mainland south to Guatemala. They are a poorly studied species and very little is known about their behavioral patterns.
The East Pacific Codlet cannot be confused with any other species due to occipital ray on its head, coloration and overall body profile.
Due to their small stature and rarity they are of little interest to most.