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Species: Orthopristis cantharinus, Galapagos sheephead grunt

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operculum: orange dots, margin black
in mouth orange
C forked
preopercle: fine serrations
pectoral < head
A: 12-13, 2nd spine = 3rd

Orthopristis cantharinus (Jenyns, 1840)

Galapagos sheephead grunt

Elongate, oblong, strongly compressed; mouth short, ends before eye, with thin lips; chin with 2 front pores and 2 rear pores in central hole, plus a longitudinal groove; preopercle finely serrated, lower serrations do not point forwards, rectangular, lower angle rounded, with vertical margin straight; lower gill rakers 12-16; dorsal fin XII, 15-16, without notch between spines and rays; anal fin with long base, III, 12-13, 2nd  and 3rd  spines equal length; tail forked; body scales without small accessory scales; 9-10 scale rows between lateral line and dorsal origin; soft dorsal and anal scaleless; lateral line 65-72 scales.

Body dark metallic blue, paler below; with ~ 9 oblique dark bars on upper back; orange tint on head and front of body; cheeks and opercle silver, with orange dots; inside mouth orange; opercle with black rear margin; fins with dark margins.

Size: 45 cm.

Habitat: demersal on soft bottoms.

Depth: 0-40 m.

Endemic to the Galapagos.

Unconfirmed records from Clipperton and the Gulf of California are doubtful as there are no museum specimens from those sites.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Bottom
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Water column
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • TEP oceanic island (s) endemic
  • All species
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • Galapagos Islands endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 45
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 40