Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Hemanthias signifer, Damsel bass, Damsel thread-fin bass, Hookthroat bass

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body: little yellow
D 3rd spine very long
C: outer rays longest
hook under throat
pectoral 18-20

Hemanthias signifer (Garman, 1899)

Hookthroat Bass, Damsel Bass, Damsel Thread-fin Bass

Body elongate, compressed; head short, compressed; eye large; mouth strongly oblique, without accessory bone above top jaw bone; canine teeth at front of mouth; teeth on center and sides of roof of mouth; preopercle margin serrated above and below; adults with pointed, hook-like spine at front of throat where it joins base of gill arches; 33-38 gill rakers; dorsal with X spines, 3rd spine long, filamentous, 13-14 rays; anal III, 7-9; pectoral 18-20 rays; pelvics long; tail weakly forked, outer rays longest; scales small, rough, 7-8 rows between 5th dorsal fin spine and lateral line; top jaw and most of snout and area between eyes scaleless; 59-69 scales on lateral line.

Head, body and fins pink to red; yellow stripe from snout under eye, can extend to edge opercle; yellow spots on upper operculum; sometimes yellow spots on lower flank; dorsal and anal pink, broad yellow margins; tail pink, broad yellow edges; pelvics pink, yellow front edge and tips; pectoral pink.

Size: 42 cm.

Habitat: demersal on rocky reefs.

Depth: 25-500m.

Southern California and the lower ¾ of the Gulf of California to Peru and Malpelo.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Near Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Water column
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Planktivore
  • Pelagic fish larvae
  • No Data
  • Pelagic fish eggs
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 42
Depth Range Min
  • 25
Depth Range Max
  • 500