Lagodon rhomboides 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Sparidae

Scientific Name: Lagodon rhomboides (Linnaeus, 1766)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Pinfish, Bream, Porgy, Red Porgy, Sailor's Choice, Salt-water Bream
French Sar Salème
Spanish Chopa Espina, Sargo, Sargo Salema, Xlavitia
Sparus rhomboides Linnaeus, 1766

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2011-03-30
Assessor(s): Russell, B., Carpenter, K.E., MacDonald, T. & Vega-Cendejas, M.
Reviewer(s): Sedberry, G.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Comeros-Raynal, M. & Gorman, C.

Lagodon rhomboides
is widely distributed in the Western Atlantic and is known from throughout the Gulf of Mexico, and off northern Cuba, extending northward to Cape Cod. This species also occurs in Bermuda. The Pinfish is one of the most abundant fishes in shallow water throughout most of its range; this species is numerically dominant among fish in seagrass habitat in shallow subtidal areas of the Gulf of Mexico and the southeast Atlantic coast. Lagodon rhomboides is an important component of commercial and recreational fisheries throughout its range. The Pinfish occupies vegetated bottoms, occasionally over rocky bottoms and in mangrove areas over a wide depth range (zero to 92 m). There are no data at present time indicating declines from fishing. However, its habitat may be negatively impacted in parts of its distribution. Given that it is widespread and locally abundant, currently it is not at a high risk of extinction in the near future and is therefore listed as Least Concern.

Gulf of Mexico

In the Gulf of Mexico, Lagodon rhomboides is widely distributed and common to abundant throughout the region. There are no indications of decreasing population trends from by catch or from directed fisheries. It is listed as Least Concern.  

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Lagodon rhomboides is widely distributed in the Western Atlantic and is known from throughout the Gulf of Mexico, and off northern Cuba, extending northward to Cape Cod where it is rare. This species also occurs in Bermuda. Records from Jamaica and the Bahamas need to be verified (Carpenter 2002).

It has a depth range of zero to 92 m but is most commonly found below 36 m (Franks et al. 1972, Darcy and Gutherz 1984, Darcy 1985b).
Countries occurrence:
Bermuda; Cuba; Mexico; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – northwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):92
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Lagodon rhomboides is one of the most abundant fishes in shallow water throughout most of its range (Darcy 1985). Pinfish is numerically dominant among fish in seagrass habitat in shallow subtidal areas of the Gulf of Mexico and the southeast Atlantic coast (Stoner 1980). Recreational ladings in the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States show a general increasing trend from 1981-2012, with a peak in 2008 at 9,489,043 (numbers of fishes) (NOAA NMFS Marine Recreational Information Program, Commercial landings show a general decreasing trend, with a peak in annual harvest at 464 metric tons in 1951 and subsequent decrease in catches since the 1980s. Landings over the past 13 years (2000-2012) show an increasing trend (National Marine Fisheries Service, accessed 4 March 2014).

This species is very common in Mexico (M. Vega-Cendejas pers. comm. 2014). Lagodon rhomboides is the most abundant fish species from seagrass beds in Chelem Lagoon, Yucatan, Mexico (Canto-Maza and Vega-Cendejas 2008). In some areas in Florida, Pinfish are so abundant that their grazing alters the composition of estuarine epifaunal seagrass communities (Stoner 1982). In Florida, 2009 statewide landings of Pinfish were 3,086,917 pounds, of which c. 98% were contributed by the recreational fishery, mostly on the Gulf coast (92% of landings made). Total landings on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts generally increased from 1990-2004, though declines were reported in 2005-2006 on the Gulf coast, which could possibly be related to the extensive red tide on the Gulf coast in 2005. Commercial catch rates on the Atlantic coast showed a sharp increase between 1993-1994, remained steady until 2003, and trended upward in 2004-2009. On the Gulf coast, commercial landings fluctuated with no discernible trend through 2003, but have also shown an upward trend in 2004-2009. There is no formal stock assessment for Pinfish available at present time in Florida (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, accessed 4 March 2014). In seagrass beds of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Lagodon rhomboides is one of the species that constituted nearly 70% of small-bodied fishes (Acosta et al. 2007). Pinfish was one of the dominant species recorded in a trawl survey conducted in the northern Gulf of Mexico, ranging from north-central Florida to the Rio Grande, Texas, during the summer months of 1992-1994 (Michael et al. 2007). The Pinfish is the most abundant species collected during sampling in seagrass meadows of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Population trend in northern Gulf of Mexico is increasing (Fodrie and Heck 2011). This species is a significant component of the bycatch in shrimp trawl fisheries in Florida; it dominated the finfish bycatch accounting for 64% of the total number of finfish captured during all sampling periods (Crawford 2011). This species is an important component trawl surveys collected over sand and shell trawl and non-trawl habitats (Wells et al. 2008).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Lagodon rhomboides is commonly found on vegetated bottoms, occasionally over rocky bottoms and in mangrove areas. It enters brackish water and even freshwater. It often forms large aggregations. This species feeds mainly on small animals, especially crustaceans, but also takes molluscs, worms and occasionally small fishes that are associated with the grassy habitats (Carpenter 2002). Lagodon rhomboides exhibits ontogenetic changes in diet, with juveniles feedings on decapods, mysids, and amphipods (Carr and Adams 1973). Pinfish demonstrated planktivory, omnivory, strict carnivory, and strict herbivory at different times, locations, and stages of development (Stoner 1980). Migrations consist primarily of inshore-offshore seasonal movements. Juveniles migrate into estuaries in the spring and summer (Wang and Kernehan 1979). Small juveniles (two to eight cm) are most abundant in vegetated, shallow flats of estuaries (Reid 1954, Kilby 1955, Reid 1956, Zilberger 1966, Clark 1970, Hansen 1970, Swingle 1971, Clark 1974, Johnson 1978, Muncy 1984), and rarely venture outside of seagrass habitat, except at night, when they are found in open sandy bottoms (Stoner 1980). Recruitment of young Pinfish in shallow water areas takes place in late fall, winter, and spring, with a peak in late winter and early spring (Hansen 1970, Darcy 1985). In the Gulf of Mexico, this species shows segregation by size with the increase in depth. Median length increased from 10.9 cm (SL) in 6-10 m depth range to 15.2 cm (SL) in the 26-30 m depth range (Nelson 2002).  

Age and Growth 
The maximum age of Pinfish was seven years (using otolith-derived age estimates) (Nelson 2002). Most Pinfish become sexually mature at lengths between 8-10 cm (Hansen 1970, Johnson 1978). In Florida, this species was recorded to mature in their second year of life (smallest mature female at 12.8 cm), with first spawning in their third year (age two) (Caldwell 1957); it was also observed to spawn late in their first and second year of life; all mature fish were 11 cm (SL) or longer (Hansen 1970, Muncy 1984). This species spawns in late autumn to early spring in Tampa Bay and adjacent Gulf of Mexico waters. Spawning is suspected to occur in offshore oceanic waters (Hansen 1970, Darcy 1985, Nelson 2002), though evidence also suggests that some spawning activity may occur in the estuary (Nelson 2002). The maximum size is 40 cm (TL) (Randall and Vergara 1978)
Systems:Freshwater; Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Lagodon rhomboides is a popular species in recreational fisheries. This species is caught mainly with trawls; also with gill nets, trammel nets, beach seines, traps and on hook-and-line. Though good eating, it is not widely consumed due to its relatively small average size; often used as bait (Carpenter 2002). Pinfish are caught commercially for use as live bait mainly in small baited or unbaited traps (Darcy 1985). Lagodon rhomboides is an important food fish in the Yucatan (M. Vegas-Cendejas pers. comm. 2014). There is potential for this species for aquaculture in the southeastern United States (Ohs et al. 2011).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The Pinfish may be negatively impacted as bycatch in shrimp trawl fisheries and gillnet fisheries (Crawford et al. 2011, Mathers et al. 2013). Habitat degradation may be impacting parts of this species' range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for the Pinfish. Its distribution overlaps with several marine protected areas within its range (World Database on Protected Areas, accessed 4 March 2014).

Citation: Russell, B., Carpenter, K.E., MacDonald, T. & Vega-Cendejas, M. 2014. Lagodon rhomboides. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T170250A1301642. . Downloaded on 24 March 2018.
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