Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Opistognathus punctatus, Fine-spotted jawfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head - dark dots
body - dark spots & blotches
juveniles: black spot/ocellus on D
lips: no inner papillae
male: black Vs inside lower jaw
gill rakers: 41-49

Opistognathus punctatus Peters, 1869

Finespotted Jawfish

Elongate, compressed, tapering body; large bulbous head; eye large, high; a simple cirrus at front nostril; top jaw nearly as long as head in large males; no broad flap at top corner of operculum; front of roof of mouth with 2 teeth; lips without inner papillae; gill rakers 41-49; dorsal rays XI, 16-17; anal rays III, 16-17; pectoral 20-21; tail rounded, much shorter than head; lateral line on front half of body only, high; scales small, smooth, none on head, body with 128-150 oblique scale rows.

Light grey or brownish with numerous fine dark spots on head and body, also larger blackish spots and blotches on side and fins; juveniles have fewer larger spots than adult and become increasingly more spotted with growth; pectorals of juveniles clear, becoming increasingly spotted with growth; juveniles under about 15 cm with an elongate black spot on middle of dorsal fin between 4th and 8th spines, this spot an ocellus in very small individuals; inside lower jaw of male with two black V shaped marks.

Maximum size to 40.6 cm.

Inhabits sand-rubble bottoms.

Depth: 5-24 m.

Southern Baja and the Gulf of California to Gorgona Island, Colombia, and Malpelo.

The juvenile of this species was described as O. mexicanus by Allen and Robertson (1991).


High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
Salinity
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
Inshore/Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
Habitat
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
Diet
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Brooded
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • All species
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
Residency
  • 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
CITES
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 40.6
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 24