Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Stellifer vermicularis, Vemiculate croaker, Wormlined croaker

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

oblique dark lines along scale rows
C: S shape
preopercle: 15-17 fine teeth
pectoral 19-20
A: 8, 2nd spine long, thick

Stellifer vermicularis (Günther, 1867)

Wormlined Croaker, Vemiculate Croaker

Body oblong, deep, back high, more or less compressed; head low and short, cavernous but firm to touch on top, nape profile slightly concave; eye 4.9-5.3 in head length; snout slightly projecting; mouth ~ horizontal; teeth simple in bands, those in outer row of upper jaw slightly enlarged; snout with 10 pores; chin with 5 pores, without barbels; gill rakers short (< ½ length of gill filaments at angle of arch), 22-25; margin of preopercle with 15-17 fine serrae, those at angle not enlarged; dorsal fin continuous but deeply notched, X + I, 26-28, second dorsal spine strong and 2/3 length of third; anal rays II, 8, 2nd spine thick, as long as first ray; pectoral fins 19-20, relatively long, usually reaching slightly past tips of depressed pelvic fins; tail margin S shaped, upper tip pointed; scales on body and all or most of head rough; inner 2/3 of soft dorsal and anal with a scaly sheath; pored lateral-line scales 48-50.

Dusky grey with silvery reflections; prominent oblique blackish stripes following scale rows on body; fins dusky brown to blackish.

Size: to at least 35 cm.

Inhabits coastal waters.

Depth: 1-20 m.

The Gulf of California to northern Peru

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom + water column
  • Bottom
  • Near Bottom
  • Water column
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Estuary
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 35
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 20