Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Kyphosus azureus, Zebra seachub, Zebra perch

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

pale + 8 brown bars
pectoral base - black spot
operculum - dark blue spot
Kyphosus azureus (Jenkins & Evermann, 1889)
Zebra perch,     Zebra seachub

Body a deep oval, moderately compressed;  head pointed, short; mouth small, lips thick, opens at the front; the top jawbone slips partially under the under-eye bone when the mouth is closed; teeth incisiform, bases set horizontally in mouth, with curved, hockey-stick shape, outer band of large immovable teeth with flattened; teeth on central roof of mouth, none on tongue; preopercle smooth; dorsal fin continuous, XI spines that fold down into a scaly groove, 9 soft rays, spiny dorsal much longer base than soft dorsal; anal rays III, 10, soft anal much higher and shorter than soft dorsal; tail forked; paired fins are relatively short; origin of the pelvics behind the base of the pectoral fin; scales small, thick and rough, covering the body, soft portions of the median fins, none on snout or between eyes.

Body pale tan, with about 10 long greyish-brown bars with light grey spaces between them; a blue spot on upper edge of gill cover and a black spot below pectoral-fin base; ventral portion of head and body whitish.

Size: grows to 45 cm.

Habitat: often seen in schools on shallow weed-covered reefs.

Depth: 0-15 m.

California (Monterey southwards) to Baja California, and Gulf of California, particularly in the northern and central parts.

Note: Previously in the genus Hermosilla.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Bottom
  • Bottom
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Rocks
  • Water column
  • Reef only
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Ectoparasite cleaner
  • Omnivore
  • Herbivore
  • Data
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Ectoparasites
  • Benthic macroalgae/seagrasses
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • TEP non-endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • California province, primarily
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 45
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 15