Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Menticirrhus paitensis, Paita kingfish, Paita king-croaker

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

elongate, slender
D1: X-XII, longest spine reaches origin D2
C: S shape
size of breast scales ~ body scales
pectoral 21-23
A 7

Menticirrhus paitensis Hildebrand, 1946

Paita kingfish, Paita king-croaker

Body elongate, very slender rounded in cross-section, belly flat; head long, low; snout ~ conical, projecting beyond horizontal mouth; teeth villiform, no canines, outer row teeth of upper jaw scarcely enlarged if at all; slits and pores above mouth; short thick barbel on chin with a pore at its point and several more at its base; gill rakers short, 6-9; preopercle weakly serrated; dorsal rays X-XII + I, 22-25, spines short, longest spine reaching only 1st  soft ray; anal rays I, 7, spine weak; pectoral 21-23, reach past end of pelvics; tail S shaped; scales of head and body rough, scales on breast ~ same size as those on upper body; soft dorsal and anal fins without scaly sheath; pored lateral-line scales 76-98.

Pale grey-green, sides and belly paler; fins dusky with outer parts darker; inside pectoral dark.

Size: 40 cm.

Habitat: coastal bays

Depth: 1-20 m?.

The SE Gulf of California to Peru.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Beach
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Mexican + Panamic provinces endemic
  • All species
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Continent only
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 40
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 20