Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Stegastes rectifraenum, Cortez damselfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

brown + dark scale edges, scattered pale scales
juvenile: blue + ocellus & black spot, D edge blue
pectoral 20
gill rakers 14-18
gill rakers 14-18

Stegastes rectifraenum (Gill, 1862)

Cortez Damselfish

Body oval, compressed; 1 pair of nostrils; margin of preopercle serrated; margin of bone under eye serrated, without notch it and the bone before it; mouth small, protrusible; teeth in single row, long and close-set; gill rakers 14-18; a single continuous dorsal fin, XII, 15 (rarely 16); anal rays II, 13 (rarely 12 or 14); pectoral rays 20 (rarely 19 or 21); no projecting short spines at upper and lower base of tail fin; caudal fin bluntly forked; scales are moderately large and rough; body scaled, head largely scaled (snout scaled to nostrils), as are the basal parts of the median fins; lateral-line scales 20 (rarely 19); lateral line incomplete, ends under end of dorsal fin base.

Dark brown, grading to lighter brown on head, with scattered noticeably paler scales on body; most of body scales with blackish margins; fins mainly dark brownish, except pectorals slightly yellowish; juveniles bright blue with darker scale margins, a pair of neon-blue stripes on upper part of head and nape, black ocellated spot at base of spiny & soft dorsal junction, and small blue- edged black spot on upper surface of caudal peduncle.

Size: attains length of 16 cm.

Inhabits rocky reefs.

Depth: 0-12 m.

Northern Baja California and the entire Gulf of California south to Acapulco on the Mexican mainland, and rarely in the Revillagigedos.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef only
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Rocks
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Omnivore
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Data
  • Sponges/seasquirts/bryozoa
  • Sessile worms
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Sessile crustacea
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Island (s)
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Cortez + Mexican provinces endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Depth Range Max
  • 12
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Length Max
  • 16