IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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  Common names: opaleye (English), chopa (Espanol)
Girella nigricans (Ayres, 1860)

California opaleye

Body an elongate oval, moderately compressed;  head blunt, short; mouth small, square, lips thick, opens at the front; the top jawbone slips partially under the under-eye bone when the mouth is closed; teeth incisiform, bases set horizontally in mouth, with curved, hockey-stick shape, outer band of large movable teeth with flattened, 3-pointed tips; no teeth on central roof of mouth; dorsal fin continuous, XII-XIV (spines that fold down into a scaly groove, 12-15; anal rays III, 10-13; spines on fins short, thick; tail blunt, straight; paired fins are relatively short; origin of the pelvics behind the base of the pectoral fin; all fins blunt to rounded; scales small, thick and rough, covering the body, head (except the snout) and soft portions of the median fins; scales in midlateral series about 50.

Olive-green to grey-green; usually 2 pale spots on upper back below middle of dorsal fin (absent in large adults); often white bar across snout between eyes; eye bright blue-green; juvenile blue above, silvery below.

Size: 66 cm.

Habitat: demersal on rocky shores.

Depth: 1-32 m.

California to the southern Baja, an isolated population in the central and northern Gulf of California.   


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Shorefishes of the tropical eastern Pacific online information system. www.stri.org/sftep

Source: Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Online Information System

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