Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Anisotremus davidsonii, the Sargo, Xanthic Sargo

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silver + dark bar mid-body
edge operculum & base of pectoral black

Anisotremus davidsonii (Steindachner, 1876)

Sargo, Xanthic sargo

Body deep, compressed, back high; head short, blunt; mouth small, low, ~ horizontal, lips fleshy; inside mouth not red; teeth in bands on jaws, outer ones larger, conical, none on center roof of mouth; a pair of conspicuous pores plus a central groove under the chin; preopercle finely serrated; dorsal continuous but deeply notched, 4th  spine longest, XI-XII, 14-16; anal III, 9-11, 2nd  spine long but not greatly so;  pectoral fins relatively short, not, reaching origin of anal; tail forked; scales moderate to large, rough, over entire body and head except front of snout, lips and chin, on membranes between dorsal and anal soft rays; rear lines of scales in oblique rows above lateral line; lateral-line scales 54-62.

Overall silvery with yellowish tinge; a prominent blackish bar on side at level of outer part of pectoral fin; upper margin of operculum black; black spot on outer pectoral base; juveniles have 2-3 blackish stripes on the side and lack a spot at the tail fin base.

Size: attains 60 cm, but common to 30 cm.

Habitat: found on rocky, weed-covered reefs, sometimes forming schools.

Depth: 5-61 m.

Central California to central Baja, the Gulf of California.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Near Bottom
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Water column
  • Reef only
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Rocks
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Sponges/seasquirts/bryozoa
  • Data
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • TEP non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • California province, primarily
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • All species
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 60
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 61