Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Opistognathus brochus, Toothy jawfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body: no marks
D: 13, 7 dark blotches
C: 2 bars
protruding teeth
inside mouth & jaws - not color
A black

Opistognathus brochus Bussing & Lavenberg, 2003

Toothy jawfish

Elongate, slender, compressed, tapering; head profile rounded; front nostril with a simple flap at rear; top margin of operculum straight in male, concave in female, without a flap; mouth at front, relatively short, extends less than one eye-diameter behind eye, top jaw expanded dorsally at rear and with straight to concave rear edge, same in both sexes; teeth on both jaws slightly protruding, visible when mouth is closed; no papillae between tooth rows; 1-2 small curved teeth at front of roof of mouth; 23-26 gill rakers; dorsal fin XI, 13; fin extended at rear; anal III, 12, fin extended at rear; pelvic fin with second soft ray very long in both sexes; tail fin rounded; head, nape and pectoral fin base scaleless, rest of body scaly; 49-57 oblique scale rows; lateral line on front half of body only, ends under between first and second dorsal soft ray, 28-31 pores.

Preserved fish: head and body cream; top of head tan, with a tiny black spot on each side behind eye; nape, operculum and cheek with diffuse brown network; snout dusky, front half of top jaw dusky, interrupted by a pale area at front side; underside of head dusky; iris dark; dorsal fin dusky, with ~ 7 diffuse blotches on membranes in spiny and soft sections, 1st  one between spines I-II; anal fin black; inner 3 rays of pelvic fin black in male; tail with black bar across base and a dusky bar across the mid-fin; no obvious color inside mouth; no dark bars inside top jaw.

Size: 4.7 cm.

Habitat: burrows in sand and rubble.

Depth: 55-82 m.

Upper Gulf of California and Costa Rica.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
Egg Type
  • Brooded
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Continent only
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Data deficient
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 4.7
Depth Range Min
  • 55
Depth Range Max
  • 82