Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Haemulon flaviguttatum, Cortez grunt, Yellow-spotted grunt

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

scale centers pale
D & A: yellow
C: dark + yellow border
mouth oblique, opens before eye
26-31 gill rakers

Haemulon flaviguttatum Gill, 1862

Cortez grunt, Yellow-spotted grunt

Body oblong, compressed; mouth oblique, lower jaw projecting, opens at level of center of eye, lips not fleshy; underside of chin with 2 large pores, 2 pores in a deep hole, and a central groove; gill rakers 26-31 (usually 27-28); preoperculum finely serrated, without spines; dorsal fin continuous, with small to moderate notch in middle, X-XII, 15-18 (usually XII, 17); anal rays III, 10-11; tail forked; soft dorsal and anal densely scaled nearly to the edge of the fin; lateral-line scales 50-53; scales above the lateral line in oblique lines.

Silvery grey, small white spots in scale centers on side arranged in oblique rows; fins yellow except caudal mainly dusky blackish (with yellowish outer margin); inside mouth red; juveniles with narrow dark midlateral stripe and second stripe above, slanting from snout to upper surface of caudal peduncle, also a black spot at base of tail fin.

Size: reaches 42 cm.

Habitat: occurs near shore on rocky reefs, often seen in schools.

Depth: 1-30 m.

Southern California (vagrants), Cedros Island off central Baja, to the Gulf of California to Ecuador and Malpelo.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Rocks
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 42
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 30