Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Malacoctenus zacae, Zaca blenny

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

lower body ~ 6 brown lines
flank - central stripe
pectoral & belly yellow
A 18-20
LL 50-55
no scales before D or on pectoral base

Malacoctenus zacae Springer, 1959

Zaca blenny

Head slender, snout pointed; a close-set pair of heavily branched nape cirri, a branched cirrus over eye;  4-8 (3-15) pores behind chin, between bases of operculae; 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; gill rakers 9-11; dorsal fin XX, 10, (XX-XXI, 9-11), notch between spines and rays; anal II, 19 (18-20); pectoral 14; 3 pelvic soft rays; 50-55 lateral line scales; belly scales smaller than flank scales; no scales on midline in front of dorsal fin or on prepectoral area, sometimes a few scales on breast.

Pale olive; ~ 5 faint dark saddles on back; usually a dark greenish to brownish stripe from eye to tail fin base, with dark spots where that stripe is crossed by the dark bars; ~ 6 greenish-brown lines along lower side; belly and pectoral fins often yellowish; rarely with a dark spot at pelvic-fin base; dorsal fin sometimes spotted; anal fin clear or with dark bars; tail fin clear or with elongate spots on rays.

Size: attains a length of 6.5 cm.

Habitat: rocky bottoms.

Depth: 1-10 m?

The southern Gulf of California to central Mexico; Guadalupe Island.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Rocks
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef only
  • Submerged vegetation
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Data
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continent
  • Cortez + Mexican provinces endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 6.5
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 10