Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Cheilotrema saturnum, Black croaker

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

oblong, compressed
mouth below snout
dark + 1 pale bar & several blotches
operculum: large black blotch
A: 2nd spine very long, heavy, 6-7

Cheilotrema saturnum (Girard, 1858)

Black croaker

Body high, oblong, moderately compressed; forehead profile oblique, snout pointed; mouth a little below, small, ~ horizontal; chin with 5 pores, no barbels; 14-20 short, spiny gill rakers; preopercle edge finely serrated; anal short, II spines, 2nd  spine heavy, as long as 1st  ray, 6-7 rays; dorsal fin X, I, 25-28, with deep notch between spiny and soft parts; pectoral short, not reaching tip of pelvic, 17-18 rays; tail edge straight; scales rough except smooth around eye; inner 1/3 of soft dorsal and inner 3/4 of anal scaly; 56-60 lateral line scales.

Upper body dark grey to purplish to black, with coppery patches; belly silvery with dark dots; an indistinct pale bar at mid-body; an elongate black blotch on upper rear border of opercle; fins dark grey; juveniles with 3-4 dark stripes along upper body.

Size: 45 cm.

Habitat: caves and crevices near sandy bottoms, open bays and coasts.

Depth: 3-100 m.

California to southern Baja; also in the northern Gulf of California.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Bottom
  • Bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Rocks
  • Reef only
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • TEP non-endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Continent only
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • California province, primarily
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Data deficient
  • Not listed
Depth Range Max
  • 100
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Length Max
  • 45