Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Serranus psittacinus, Banded serrano, Barred serrano

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body ~ 8 dark bars or dark stripe
belly: row large spots
11-12 lower gill rakers

Serranus psittacinus Valenciennes, 1846

Barred serrano, Banded serrano

Body elongate, moderately compressed; body depth 3.2-3.4 in SL; preopercle regularly serrated, no spur with enlarged spines; 10-12 lower gill rakers; dorsal rays X (rarely IX or XI), 11-13; anal rays III, 7; pectoral rays 17, short, not reaching anus;  tail with blunt, straight edge;  scales rough, relatively large, lateral-line scales 46-49.

Head and body grey to brown above, white below; upper body with 4 short double or H-shaped dark bars; lower body behind pectoral base back to end of tail base with a row of  ~7 dark (red, orange or dark brown) blotches; upper end of tail base with a dark blotch;  dorsal fin with central red stripe, soft fin with reddish spots; tail fin with many vertical rows of red spots; anal fin with red spots; Subadult with a broad dark stripe from snout, through eye, to end of tail base, a row of small dark spots along lower body behind pectoral.

Size: to 18 cm.

Inhabits small patch reefs or rocky outcrops in sand- rubble areas in rocks.

Depth: 2-60 m.

Central Baja to the Gulf of California to Peru, the Galapagos.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Corals
  • Reef only
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Rocks
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 18
Depth Range Min
  • 2
Depth Range Max
  • 60