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Species: Kyphosus elegans, Cortez sea-chub

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uniform grey, +/- white spots
snout inclines abruptly before eye
D: 13
D & A: soft parts elevated at front
A: 12
LL 61-69 (52-57 pores)

Kyphosus elegans (Peters, 1869)

Cortez sea-chub

Body an oval, depth 43-53% SL, compressed;  small pointed head; snout slopes down abruptly before eyes; mouth is small, horizontal and opens at the front; top jaw relatively short, reaching under front edge of eye; the top jawbone slips partially under the under-eye bone when the mouth is closed; teeth immovable incisiform, bases set horizontally in mouth, rounded tips and a curved, hockey-stick shape; teeth on center of roof of mouth and on tongue; gill rakers 6-8 + 16-19; dorsal fin continuous, X-XI, 13, spines fold down into a scaly groove, front rays of soft dorsal fin moderately high; anal rays II-III, 12, soft fin moderately high at front, height of longest ray is 50% of length of fin base; tail fin 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, head (except forward of eyes) and soft portions of the median fins; lateral line with 61-69 scales, 52-57 with pores; longitudinal scale rows 59-62.
Silvery grey with faint brownish stripes between each scale row on sides; can quickly assume pattern of numerous eye-sized white spots.
Size: attains 38 cm.
Habitat: often occurs in large schools on rocky reefs.
Depth: 0-20 m.
Southern Baja and the Gulf of California to Ecuador, and all the oceanic islands. Also known from Hawaii.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Surface
  • Near Surface
  • Mid Water
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Bottom
  • Freshwater
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Rocks
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef only
  • Flotsam
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Herbivore
  • Data
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Data
  • Benthic macroalgae/seagrasses
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • Central + East Pacific (but not West)
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 38
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 20