Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Symphurus williamsi, William's tonguefish, Yellow tonguefish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

pale brown + thin faint complete bars
inside opercle dark
blind side D & A rays: 1-3 scales on base
D 89-95; A 73-79; 12

Symphurus williamsi Jordan & Culver in Jordan, 1895

Yellow tonguefish, William's tonguefish

Body highly compressed, elongate, oval, tapers to pointed tail; eyes small close-set, on left side, pupils with small covers; snout rounded; mouth small, curved, strongly so on blind side; margin of preoperculum concealed by skin and scales; dorsal origin ~ above upper eye; dorsal rays 89-95; anal rays 73-79;  dorsal and anal fins confluent with the pointed tail fin; only left pelvic fin present, 4 rays, on body midline, joined to anal fin by delicate membrane; pectoral fins absent, represented by a fine membrane; tail with 12 rays; no lateral line; scales rough, on both sides of body; rays of dorsal and anal on blind side covered with rough scales; scales in longitudinal series 86-96.

Top side yellow to pale or dark brown; sometimes narrow, irregular, diffuse crossbars; dorsal, anal and tail fin uniform; inside operculum dark; lining of gut cavity not dark.

Size: 12 cm.

Habitat: sandy bottoms, including tidepools, estuaries and bays.

Depth: 1-55 m.

Southern Baja to the Gulf of California to Peru.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Estuary
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • No Data
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 12
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 55