Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Opistognathus scops, Bullseye jawfish, Happy jawfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

front nostril - simple cirrus
body: 3-4 dark stripes + elongate white blotches
D black + large ocellus & white lines/spots

Opistognathus scops (Jenkins & Evermann, 1889)

Bullseye jawfish, Happy jawfish

Elongate, compressed, tapering body; large bulbous head; eye large, high; a simple, unbranched cirrus over front nostril; top jaw bone extending beyond eye, with long extension in male; 2 teeth at front of roof of mouth; no broad flap below operculum; lips without inner papillae; gill rakers 34-36; dorsal rays X, 16-17; anal rays III, 15-17; pectoral rays 20; tail rounded, much shorter than head; lateral line on front half of body only, high; scales small, smooth, none on head, body with 132-145 oblique scale rows.

Generally brownish with 3-4 longitudinal dark stripes on side and scattered elongate white blotches and spots giving appearance of broken wavy stripes; dorsal fin black, with irregular white lines and a prominent ocellus at front, soft dorsal with white spots; tail fin black, with white spots; anal fin black, with a row of white spots along its base; no obvious color inside mouth.

Size: reaches at least 12 cm.

Inhabits sand-rubble bottoms.

Depth: 3-20 m?

Gulf of California to Colombia; rarely in the Galapagos.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Brooded
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • All species
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 12
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 20