Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Mycteroperca olfax, Bacalao grouper, Sailfin grouper

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

gold or grey + dense brown spots
sometimes 10-12 dark bars
D: 2nd & 3rd spines longest
C edge regular
preopercle edge notched

Mycteroperca olfax (Jenyns, 1840)

Bacalao grouper, Sailfin grouper

Body elongate, robust, compressed, depth at dorsal origin not greater than at anal origin; body deepest at anal fin origin; snout much longer than eye; lower jaw projecting; rear of top jaw exposed when mouth closed, without accessory bone above it; teeth depressible; canines at front of jaws; corner of preopercle angular, with a serrated, lobe; gill  rakers 24-29; dorsal rays XI,16-17 2nd  and 3rd  dorsal spines elongated, forming a definite lobe, with the second spine longer than third; anal rays III,11; pectoral rays 16-17; edge of tail straight, no filaments; scales in longitudinal series above lateral line 100-120.

Head and body pale grey-brown with numerous, close-set brown spots; 10-12 narrow dark bars or partial dark bars sometimes apparent on upper body; fin edges dark, with thin white borders; occasional individuals are entirely bright yellow (similar to yellow phase of M. rosacea from the Gulf of California).

Size: reaches at least 120 cm.

Inhabits rocky reefs.

Depth: 5-100 m.

Galapagos Archipelago, Cocos, Malpelo; occasional specimens between central Colombia and northern Peru.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Rocks
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Corals
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • TEP oceanic island (s) endemic
  • Island (s) only
  • Island (s)
  • Multiple oceanic islands endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Vulnerable
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 120
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 100