5 photos - 3 species


There are 8 genera and over 50 species.

They are silvery fish with a pointed-snouted,

very protruding mouth that feed on bottom-dwelling invertebrates.

If a diver digs in the sand, silversides often come closer.

Depending on the species, they can reach

lengths of 6.5 centimetres to 50 cm.

Eucinostomus melanopterus

Flagfin mojarra

Maximum length: 18 cm

Depth: 0 - 10 m

Dorsal fin with black tip and a white stripe underneath.

Body: Bright silvery colour,

the back may have a slightly greenish to brownish tinge.

Lives in lagoons, bays and estuaries over sand and seagrass beds,

swimming quickly from one spot to another.

Shy towards divers, but sometimes approaches when digging in the sand.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean

Gerres cinereus

Yellowfin mojarra

Maximum length: 40 cm

Depth: 2 - 15 m

Shiny silvery colour, pectoral fins can be yellowish,

body sides usually with faint horizontal stripes. 

Swims over sandy areas near reefs and occasionally digs for invertebrates.

Not shy, allows slow approach

and often comes closer when digging in the sand.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean

Ulaema lefroyi

Mottled mojarra

Maximum length: 23 cm

Depth: 0 - 45 m

Native to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of America from North Carolina to Brazil.

Adults are found off sandy coasts.

This species is the only known member of its genus.

Photo 1 Astrid: Bonaire Caribbean