Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Menticirrhus nasus, Highfin kingfish, Highfin king-croaker

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

eye not small
D1 X, high, black
pectoral: large, black fan
A 8

Menticirrhus nasus (Günther, 1868)

Highfin kingfish, Highfin king-croaker

Body elongate, rounded in cross-section, belly flat; head long, low; snout ~ conical, projecting beyond horizontal mouth;  eye not small; teeth villiform, no canines, outer row teeth of upper jaw scarcely enlarged if at all; slits and pores above mouth; a short thick barbel on chin with a pore at its point and several more at its base; gill rakers short, 4-9; preopercle weakly serrated; dorsal rays X + I, 21-23, spines II-IV very long; anal rays I, 8, spine weak; pectoral fins large, fanlike, reaching beyond tips of depressed pelvic fins; tail margin S-shaped with pointed upper lobe; scales of head and body rough, except smooth on breast, breast scales about same size as body scales; soft dorsal and anal fins without low, basal scaly sheath; pored lateral-line scales 49-56.

Greyish, lighter below; faint dark streaks following scale rows on back, often with numerous dark spots on sides; tip of spinous dorsal fin and outer half of pectorals blackish; remaining fins dusky.

Size: to 50 cm.

Inhabits coastal waters, including bays and the lower reaches of estuaries.

Depth: 1-20 m?

Southern Baja and the Gulf of California to northern Peru.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Estuary
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Beach
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Data
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • All species
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • 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
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 50
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 20