Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Uraspis helvola, Whitemouth jack

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oblong, compressed
dark, or 6 indistinct bars
inside mouth: white
no canines
pectoral long
LL small scutes

Uraspis helvola (Forster in Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

Whitemouth jack

Oblong, moderately compressed; snout rounded; mouth reaches under front part of eye; teeth small, pointed, curved, in bands in small fish, 1 row in large fish; gill rakers (excluding rudiments) 5-8 + 13-17; dorsal rays VIII+I, 25-30, first dorsal a low triangle, posterior spines of first dorsal fin may become embedded with growth); anal rays II (embedded in all but very young fish) + I, 19-22; pectorals long and curved; no isolated finlets behind dorsal and anal fins; anal spines reduced or absent; lateral line with pronounced arch anteriorly; with 23-40 small scutes (hard, spiny scales) on straight part of lateral line, those at rear point forwards; small scales over most of body, absent on breast and on base of pectoral, operculum partly scaled.
Body dusky, sometimes with 6 broad indistinct dark bars with narrow pale spaces between them; tongue, roof and floor of mouth white, remainder of mouth blue black.
Size: grows to at least 50 cm.
Habitat: coastal pelagic, typically occurs in small schools.
Depth: 10-300 m.
Circumtropical; known in the eastern Pacific from southern California, in the SW Gulf of California, the offshore islands (except Clipperton and the Galapagos) as well as Costa Rica and Panama, and the inshore islands of Gorgona and La Plata.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Offshore
  • Inshore
  • In & Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Near Surface
  • Mid Water
  • Water column only
  • Water column
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Planktivore
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Zooplankton
  • Pelagic crustacea
  • Pelagic fish eggs
  • Pelagic fish larvae
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
Global Endemism
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West)
  • Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America)
  • TEP non-endemic
  • All Pacific (West + Central + East)
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • All species
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 50
Depth Range Min
  • 10
Depth Range Max
  • 300