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Species: Malacoctenus gigas, Sonora blenny

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body: 4-5 dark bars
female - mesh of lines on flank
male - red below
D XXI, 12
behind chin 1-2 pores
A 22-23
LL 53-65
scales on pectoral base, & bread & sometimes nape

Malacoctenus gigas Springer, 1959

Sonora blenny

Head slender, snout pointed;  underside of head between front of opercular flaps  with 1-2 ( 1-3) pores;a close-set pair of heavily branched nape cirri,space between those  1/2-1 times width of a cirrus base; a branched cirrus over eye; upper part of rear end of top jaw covered by bone under eye; no small teeth behind outer row of large teeth on upper jaw; no teeth on sides of roof of mouth; dorsal fin XXI, 12, (XIX-XXIII, 12-14), notch between spines and rays; anal II, 22-23 (20-24); pectoral 14 (13-15); 3 pelvic soft rays; 56-62 (53-65) lateral line scales; belly scales smaller than flank scales; scales present or absent on midline in front of dorsal fin; scales present on prepectoral and breast areas of specimens > 5 cm SL.

Greenish on upper half, whitish on breast and belly, 4-5 irregular-shaped dark brown bars on side; male: dorsal, anal and caudal fins uniformly dusky: female: dorsal, anal and tail fins spotted, lower flank with reticular pattern of dark lines.

Size: to 13 cm.

Habitat: very common in the northern Gulf of California on shallow reefs among seaweed.

Depth: 1-5 m.

Western and northeastern Gulf of California; Guadalupe Island.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Data
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Cortez province endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 13
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 5