Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Stereolepis gigas, Giant sea-bass

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D XI-XII, 9-12, spiny part lower & longer base, strong notch
teeth small
operculum: 2 flat spines



Stereolepis gigas Ayres, 1859


Giant sea-bass


Body robust, oblong, depth ~ 40% of SL; mouth large, with small teeth; rear of top jaw exposed; preopercle weakly serrated; 2 flat blunt spines at angle of operculum; 9-10 rakers on first gill arch; 1 strongly notched dorsal fin, XI-XII strong spines, 9-10 rays, base of low spinous part longer than base of high soft part; anal III, 8-9; scales rough, small, 57-67 on lateral line, on body and head except snout, jaws and between eyes; tail edge straight, with rounded tips.

Adults grey to dark brown body and fins, paler below; large brown blotches on sides; pale spots underside of head and belly. Juveniles brown, with dark brown spots on head, body, median fins; yellow spots on the underside of head and belly; dorsal, anal and tail dark with clear rear margins, pelvics black, pectorals clear.

Size: 226 cm; at least 256 kg.

Habitat: rocky bottoms, algal beds; juveniles on sand, algae.

Depth: 5-45 m.

California to SW Baja, the west and northeast Gulf of California.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Rocks
  • Reef and soft bottom
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Sharks/rays
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • TEP non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent only
  • All species
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • California province, primarily
  • Continent
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Critically endangered
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 226
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 45