Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Peprilus simillimus, Pacific pompano, Pacific butterfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout > eye
D & A front short, angular
D III, 43-47; A 38-41
vertebrae 30-31

Peprilus simillimus (Ayres, 1860)

Pacific butterfish, Pacific pompano

Body highly compressed, an elongate oval, shallow to moderately deep, (depth 37-52% of SL); eye large, surrounded by a fatty right; snout ~ eye length or longer; 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 only slightly raised in a blunt point, anal much lower than dorsal; dorsal rays III, 43-47 (41-48); anal rays II, 38-41 (35-44);  no pelvic fins but a small spine projecting from pelvis; pectorals long and pointed, 19-23, usually 21 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; 30-31 vertebrae.

Iridescent blue-green above, silvery below.

Size: attains 36cm.

Inhabits sand bottoms of exposed coasts.

Depth: 9-91 m.

British Columbia to southern Baja and the west and northeast of the Gulf of California.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Mid Water
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Bottom
  • Water column
  • Mud
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Planktivore
  • No Data
  • Pelagic jellyfish/ctenophores
  • Bony fishes
  • Zooplankton
  • Data
  • Pelagic crustacea
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • TEP non-endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • California province, primarily
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • Continent only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 36
Depth Range Min
  • 9
Depth Range Max
  • 91