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Species: Lonchopisthus sinuscalifornicus, Longtailed jawfish

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operculum: violet ocellus
body: blue bars & spots
D & A row blue spots
C very long, pointed



Lonchopisthus sinuscalifornicus Castro-Aguirre & Villavicencio-Garayzar, 1988

Longtailed jawfish

Elongate, compressed, tapering body; large bulbous head, eye large, high on side of head; mouth opens at front, large, extends to rear of eye; top jaw with rear end concave, blunt notch or hook on underside at rear; dorsal rays XI, 18 (occasionally 17 or 19); anal rays III, 17 (rarely 18); pectoral rays 16-20; tail fin much longer than head length, with long central point; lateral line on front half of body only, high; scales in longitudinal series 67-74.

Head and body tan or cream; body with thin pale blue bars at front, scattered pale blue spots behind; operculum with a large intense bluish-violet ocellus; median fins violet; dorsal and anal fins with a central row of pale blue spots.

Size: grows to about 30 cm.

Habitat: most specimens have been caught by trawls on flat sandy bottoms.

Depth: 3-56 m.

Gulf of California to Ecuador.

Closely related to L. higmani of the West Atlantic.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Planktivore
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Pelagic fish larvae
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Zooplankton
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Brooded
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • TEP endemic
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 56