Shortfin Corvina, Cynoscion parvipinnis
The Shortfin Corvina, Cynoscion parvipinnis, whose common Spanish name is corvina aleta corta, is a species in the Family Sciaenidae, the Croakers, known as berrugatras and corvinas in Mexico. Globally, there are twenty four species in the genus Cynoscion, of which thirteen are found in Mexican waters, three in the Atlantic and ten in the Pacific.
The Shortfin Corvinas have elongated robust compressed bodies with an oval cross-section. They have a silvery blue-gray coloration. Their caudal and pectoral fins are dark, with the pectoral fin having a dark axis. Their head is long and features a projecting lower jaw and a long oblique mouth that is yellow-orange on the inside and extends beyond the eyes. There is a dark crescent behind their front lower teeth, and their top jaw has a pair of large pointed canines. The inside of their gills is dark. They do not have chin barbels or pores on their chin. Their anal fin has two spines and ten or eleven rays; their caudal fin is slightly concave; their dorsal fin has a long base with seven or eight spines followed by another spine and 21 to 23 rays; and their pectoral fins are short. They have seven to nine lower gill rakers. They are covered with rough scales and their lateral line is arched anteriorly.
The Shortfin Corvinas are found demersal over sandy bottoms along the shore, in the surf zone, and in inshore bays at depths up to 330 feet. They reach a maximum length of 60 cm (24 inches). They are found along the west coast of Baja and throughout the Sea of Cortez but are absent south of Mazatlán along the coast of the mainland.
The Shortfin Corvina is very similar in appearance to a series of other Croakers, however, it has short pectoral fins (after which it is named) and uncolored fins.
The Shortfin Corvinas are caught primarily on cut bait (clams, squid, mullet, etc.) with small hooks and bottom rigs. They are viewed by locals as excellent table fare.
Note: The Shortfin Corvinas were introduced as a sportfish to the Salton Sea in southern California in the early 1950s. Fish were able to survive for at least one year but were unable to reproduce and died out fairly quickly.