Cubbyu, Pareques umbrosus. Fish caught out from coastal waters off Anna Maria Island, Florida, March 2015. Length: 17.8 cm (7.0 inches). Catch, photograph and identification courtesy of George Brinkman, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
The Cubbyu, Pareques umbrosus, is a member of the Croaker or Sciaenidae Family, and is known in Mexico as payasito prieto. There are 7 global members of the genus Pareques, 5 of which are found Mexican waters, 3 in the Atlantic and 2 in the Pacific Ocean.
The Cubbyu has a deep oblong moderately compressed body with a strongly arched back. They have a silvery gray-brown coloration that varies significantly with maturity. Adults are uniformly colored with many thin black stripes. Juveniles are white with black stripes, a black bar on their dorsal and pelvic fins, an oval black ring on their snout, and transparent pectoral fins. Their head has a snout that overhangs a horizontal mouth and large eyes. They are equipped with a band of teeth; the teeth on the outer row of their lower jaw are enlarged and canine-like. Their anal fin has 2 spines, the second being slender, and 7 rays; their caudal fin is rounded; and, their first dorsal fin is higher than the second and has 9 or 10 spines, a notch, and the second dorsal fin has a long base and 1 spine and 38 to 40 rays. They have 15 to 18 short and slender gill rakers. They are covered with rough scales and their lateral line extends to the center of the caudal fin.