IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

Comprehensive Description

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  Common names: totoaba (English), totoaba (Espanol), corvinata (Espanol)
Totoaba macdonaldi (Gilbert, 1890)


Elongate, fusiform, compressed; head pointed; eye moderate size; mouth large, oblique, lower jaw a little projecting; snout with 5 pores; chin with 6 pores, no barbels; teeth in narrow bands, somewhat enlarged and conical on outer row of top jaw, including a few sharp teeth at tip of jaw; inner teeth of lower jaw slightly larger than those of outer row; 15-20 gill rakers; preopercle smooth; dorsal fin strongly notched but not divided, X + I, 23-26; anal fin short based (7-8 soft rays), 2nd  spine moderate (~ 2/3 length of 1st  ray); tail bluntly (strongly in juveniles) pointed; scales rough on head and body, smooth under head; soft dorsal and anal fins without scales; 50-56 pored lateral line scales.

Dusky silver, fins darker; juvenile spotted.

Reaches 200 cm and nearly 100 Kg.

Habitat: benthic on soft bottoms, entering rivers to spawn, juveniles usually in river mouths and around rock reefs.

Depth: 0-25 m.

Northern 2/3 of the Gulf of California.

Formerly very abundant, but now stock is seriously depleted due to overfishing. A much sought after food fish.


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© 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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