Pacific Drum

Pacific Drum, Larimus pacificus

The Pacific Drum, Larimus pacificus, whose common Spanish name is Boquinete del Pacifico, is a member of the Croaker or Sciaenidae Family, known collectively as “Berrugatas and Corvinas” in Mexico.

The Pacific Drum has a short oval compressed body with a humped back and a short compressed head that has a short snout. They are a silvery gray color and the sides have dark stripes that follow the scale rows. The fins are pale to dusky and the pectoral fin has a dark axil. They have a slightly oblique mouth, that ends behind the center of the eye, and a slightly projecting lower jaw. They have large eyes, and there are 4 minute pores on the tip of the chin and 8 pores on the snout. The margin of the gill covers is smooth. The chin does not have a barbell, however, the snout has 10 pores with 5 being found on the chin. The anal fin has two spines and 6 rays with the second spine being stout and slightly shorter than the first ray; the caudal fin is slightly rounded; the dorsal fin is deeply notched with 10 spines and 1 spine and 26 to 28 rays; the pectoral fins are long with 16 or 17 rays; and, the pelvic fins are short. They have 31-33 long and slender gill rakers and are covered with rough scales.

The Pacific Drum is found demersal over sandy bottoms along the shore and in the surf zone and inshore bays at depths up to 900 feet. They reach a maximum length of 32 cm (13 inches). The Pacific Drum is a poorly studied species and little is known about its behavioral patterns. They are found in all Mexican waters of the Pacific with the exception that they are absent from north of Guerrero Negro along the northern coast of Baja. They are believed to be a rare species in Mexican waters of the Pacific and much more common in the coastal waters of Panama (being omnipresent in the Panama Fish Market) and Northern Peru.

The Pacific Drum is most likely confused with the Steeplined Croaker, Larimus acclivis (14 or 15 pectoral rays; all fins are dusky). They are too rare and too small to be of much interest to most.

Pacific Drum, Larimus pacificus: Provided by the commercial fishermen of the greater Los Cabos area, Baja California Sur, March 2011. Size: 27 cm (11 inches). Fish identification reconfirmed by H.J. Walker, Jr., Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA.
Pacific Drum, Larimus pacificus: Provided by the commercial fishermen of the greater Los Cabos area, Baja California Sur, March 2011. Size: 27 cm (11 inches). Fish identification reconfirmed by H.J. Walker, Jr., Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA.