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Species: Porichthys notatus, Plainfin midshipman

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

upper body uniform/6-7 dark saddles
white blotch under eye
fins no spots, D&A - dark edges
D & A not joined to C
10-11 lower gill rakers
lights in V band across front chin
lowest LL ends 3 pores before its line of lights
A 30-35

Porichthys notatus Girard, 1854

Plainfin midshipman

Body compressed, elongate; head a little flattened above, no tentacles;one solid spine on opercle; no subopercular spines; teeth like canines; 10-11 (9-12) lower gill rakers;  first dorsal fin 2 solid spines, separate from second dorsal fin; second dorsal 35 (33-36) rays; anal rays 33 (30-35); dorsal and anal fins not joined to tail; pectoral 16-20 rays; no scales; 4 lateral lines on body with light organs; lower lateral line ends ~ 3 pores BEFORE same line of light organs;  row of light organs under each side of chin connected across front by a broad forward pointing V shaped row of lights.

Iridescent purplish to bronze, yellowish below; top of head unmarked; young with 7 (5-9) dark saddles on upper back; a white blotch under eye, with a dark crescent below it, white at rear end of top jaw; fins without spots; dorsal fin plain or with dark edge;  anal fin with dusky edge.

Size: 38 cm.

Habitat: mud and sand bottoms.

Depth: 0-366 m.

British Columbia to a little south of  Magdalena Bay, Baja California.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • No Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • No pelagic larva
  • Brooded
  • No pelagic phase
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • TEP non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent only
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • California province, primarily
  • All species
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • Continent
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 38
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 366