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Species: Acanthistius pictus, Peruvian sea-bass

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body oblong
behind eye: 2 oblique stripes
opercle: 3 spines, blotch between top 2
lower edge preopercle - spines point forward



Acanthistius pictus (Tschudi, 1846)

Peruvian Sea-bass

Body oblong compressed; forehead profile nearly straight; mouth large; lips very thick in large fish; jaws with inner bands of small, slender teeth, and outer row of small canines; teeth at front and center of roof of mouth; a small supramaxilla bone above main bone (maxilla) of top jaw; preopercle serrated, with 2-3 large forward pointing spines on its lower edge; operculum with 3 strong spines; 10-12 lower rakers, 2-3 upper; dorsal fin continuous, XI, 3rd to 5th spines longest, 17 soft rays, rear edge rounded; anal fin III, 2nd spine largest, 8 rays, with rounded margin; tail with straight edge and rounded corners, with 15 branched rays; 19 pectoral rays, most branched; pelvics inserted behind base of pectoral, reaching nearly to anal origin in small fish; scales very rough, small, about 145-150 in lateral series; lateral line complete, tubes with branches; lateral line scales distinct, about equal sized to neighboring scales.

Mottled brown; dorsal, tail, anal and pelvic fins dark brown; pectorals pinkish; a dark stripe from snout through eye; a dark oblique bar from eye to lower corner of operculum, another similar bar from corner of mouth to lower edge of operculum; a dark oblique blotch with white top & bottom margins on upper edge of operculum between uppermost two spines.

Apparently reaches ~ 80 cm.

Found on shallow rocky reefs.

Depth: 10-50 m.

Southern Ecuador to central Chile.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • TEP non-endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • Peruvian province, primarily
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 80
Depth Range Min
  • 10
Depth Range Max
  • 50