Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Peprilus medius, Long-finned butterfish, Pacific harvestfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body deep
snout < eye
D & A: front long & curved
vertebrae 33-35

Peprilus medius (Peters, 1869)

Long-finned butterfish, Pacific harvestfish

Highly compressed, an elongate oval; body relatively deep (depth 48-64% of SL); eye large, a fatty ring around it; snout shorter than eye, mouth small, oblique, ends before or under front of eye; jaw teeth compressed, 3-pointed, in 1 row, no teeth on roof of mouth; gill rakers 23-27; dorsal and anal fins long based, front lobes long, curved, pointed; dorsal rays III, 42-48; anal rays II, 38-46; no pelvic fins but a small spine projecting from pelvis; pectorals long and pointed, 22-23 rays; tail fin deeply forked, stiff; scales very small, smooth, very easily shed; dorsal and anal fins covered with scales; lateral line high, follows upper body profile, almost complete; 33-35 vertebrae.

Silvery white.

Size: grows to at least 33 cm.

Habitat: over soft bottoms.

Depth: 10-40 m.

Western and central eastern Gulf of California to northern Chile, and the Galapagos.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom + water column
  • Bottom
  • Near Bottom
  • Mid Water
  • Water column
  • Sand & gravel
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Planktivore
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Pelagic jellyfish/ctenophores
  • Pelagic crustacea
  • Bony fishes
  • No Data
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Island (s)
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 33
Depth Range Min
  • 10
Depth Range Max
  • 40