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Species: Opistognathus walkeri, Longjaw jawfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body uniform color
D: 12-13
rear of top jaw: black outside & inside
top jaw: pointed, passes opercle

Opistognathus walkeri Bussing & Lavenberg, 2003

Longjaw jawfish

Body compressed, relatively deep; head robust, profile very steep above mouth, flat behind eyes; eyes entering the top profile of the head, pupils pear shaped; no cirrus at front nostril; top margin of operculum straight, rear extended but without a flap; mouth at front, large, top jaw very long, extending past edge of operculum in both sexes in a thin, flexible, curved and pointed extension; no papillae between teeth rows on lower jaw; 2-3 stout teeth at front of roof of mouth; 38-39 gill rakers; dorsal, XI-XII, 12-13; anal III, 11-12; tail fin rounded, shorter than head; pelvic fin with elongate second soft ray in both sexes, which reaches anal fin in male; head, breast and area along base of first few dorsal spines scaleless, base of pectoral fin with a few scales, body scaled thereafter; 61-62 oblique scale rows; lateral line on front half of body only, ends under second dorsal soft ray, 54-55 pores.

Preserved fish: head and body brown, without dark or light markings; median fins of male darker than body, dorsal fin with narrow pale outer edge, and 5 diffuse dark blotches beginning between spines III-IV; soft rays of anal fin dark, with transparent tips; median fins same color as body in female, with outer half of anal fin rays slightly darker; top jaw strongly colored in both sexes, lower border of rear half black and inner membrane of rear 1/3 black, forming a black triangle with extensions forward along the jaw; no obvious color inside mouth.

Size: 13.5 cm.

Habitat: burrows in sand and rubble.

Depth: 21-90 m.

Known only from the central western Gulf of California.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Bony fishes
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Brooded
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Continent only
  • TEP endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Cortez province endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 13.5
Depth Range Min
  • 21
Depth Range Max
  • 90