Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Cephalopholis panamensis, Pacific graysby, Panama graysby, Panamic graysby

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

dark blotch behind eye
body - ~ 10 thin dark bars
juv: blue-gy, green nape
D IX, 14

Cephalopholis panamensis (Steindachner, 1877)

Panama Graysby, Panamic Graysby, Pacific Graysby

Robust oblong body; snout much longer than eye; convex between the eyes; most of teeth movable; top jaw base with knob at rear; preopercle rounded, finely serrated, no spines or notch; rakers on first gill arch 16-19; dorsal fin IX, 14, membranes deeply notched between spines; anal rays III, 8; pectoral rays 17-18; pectoral fin symmetrically rounded, a scaly flap of skin joining upper part of inner side of pectoral base to body; tail base slender, its height < ½ body height; tail fin rounded; flank scales rough; body scales small.

Adult: Body pale grey-brown with ~ 9 dark bars across entire depth of body; head dark, with oblique pale bands and network of blue and orange spots, a large dark patch immediately behind eye; spinous dorsal fin pale with dark spines, soft dorsal dark, with pale line along base; tail and anal fins dark. Juvenile: body medium blue grey; lower head pale blue grey with orange spots and lines; nape, front of back, and spinous dorsal fin green; soft dorsal blue grey; tail fin blue grey with black border.

Size: grows to 37 cm.

Habitat: perhaps the most abundant grouper in the region, inhabits rocky shores.

Depth: 1-75 m.

Gulf of California to northern Peru, including the Revillagigedos, Galapagos, Cocos and Malpelo.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef only
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Corals
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Data
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 37
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 75