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Species: Gillichthys seta, Short-jaw mud-sucker

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

nape scaleless
back ~ 6 dark saddles
side: row dark & yellow blotches;
upper jaw ~to end preopercle
body all pigmented
pectoral: top 1-2 rays with free tip
D2 I, 10-12; A I, 8-9

Gillichthys seta (Ginsburg, 1938)

Short-jaw mud-sucker

Moderately elongate, body compressed; head large (> 25% TL) broad, depressed, pointed, top profile straight, snout very depressed; sensory papillae on head few and separated; narrow bony ridge over each eye; eyes small, far apart; mouth slightly upturned, jaws very long - lower extends ½ way to gill opening, upper to edge of preopercle in adult; preopercle covered with skin; teeth small, conical, 4-5 rows on each jaw; first dorsal fin low and rounded, VI (IV-VIII) + I, 11 (10-12); anal fin with short base, I,8-9; pectoral broad, rounded, small top 1-2 rays free from fin for ~ ¼ its length; pelvics form disc, membrane between pelvic fin spines with large side lobes; tail rounded; scales small (~ 65 rows along side), imbedded, rough in juveniles, mainly smooth in adults; scaled space between dorsal fins 1/3 or less than length of 1st dorsal fin base;  nape scaleless (rarely a few scales); skin covered with thick mucous.

Sides light brown, with alternating dark brown and pale yellow blotches; ~ 6 irregular diffuse black saddles on back; belly yellowish; all of body (except lower midline & part of chest) pigmented.

Size: 6 cm.

Habitat: rocky tide pools with fine sand bottoms.

Depth: 0-2 m.

Northern Gulf of California.

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  • Non Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Estuary
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • Northern Gulf of California endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Continent only
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • All species
  • Cortez province endemic
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Vulnerable
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 6
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 2