Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Menticirrhus undulatus, California corvina, California king-croaker

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

lower profile horizontal
D1: X, 3rd spine not reaching D2
C: S shape
pectoral medium, black
A 8-9
breast scales v small

Menticirrhus undulatus (Girard, 1854)

California Corvina, California King-croaker

Body elongate, 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, molar teeth in throat; 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, 9-15; preopercle weakly serrated; dorsal rays X-XI + I, 23-27, spines not reaching origin of soft dorsal; anal rays I, 8-9, spine weak; pectoral 17-19, short, not reaching end of pelvics; tail S shaped; scales of head and body rough, scales on breast smooth, much smaller than those on body; soft dorsal and anal fins without scaly sheath; pored lateral-line scales 52-60.

Upper head and body grey to metallic blue; white below; dark wavy lines on flanks; pectorals black; other fins dark to pale; juveniles with a dark blotch on the flank.

Size: 83.6 cm.

Habitat: coastal bays, sand bottoms.

Depth: 1-20 m.

Southern California through the Gulf of California.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • TEP non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • All species
  • California province, primarily
  • Continent
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • Continent only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 83.6
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 20