Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Menticirrhus panamensis, Panama king-croaker, Panama kingfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

eye small
D: IX-X + I, 18-22, long spines
C: S shape
pectoral long, black

Menticirrhus panamensis (Steindachner, 1875)

Panama kingfish, Panama king-croaker

Body elongate, rounded in cross-section, belly flat; head long, low; snout ~ conical, projecting beyond horizontal mouth; eye small; 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, 3-8; preopercle weakly serrated; dorsal rays IX-X + I, 18-22, spines reaching past origin of soft dorsal; anal rays I, 8-9, spine weak; pectoral reaching 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 52-55.

Color dusky silver, greyish brown on upper back; head brownish; fins dusky, except pectorals jet black and pelvics whitish; lower lobe of tail fin blackish.

Size: grows to 75 cm.

Inhabits coastal waters, including bays and off sandy beaches.

Depth: 1-20 m?

Southern Baja and the eastern Gulf of California to central Chile.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Beach
  • Sand & gravel
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom only
  • Estuary
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • Continent only
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 75
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 20