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Rainbow Surfperch

Rainbow  Surfperch
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Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Embiotocidae (Surfperches)

Genus/species: Hypsurus caryi

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Compressed and oval to oblong-shaped bodies. Orange and blue horizontal stripes on body; larger orangish bars on back. Fins tinged with orange with black blotch on continuous soft dorsal and anal fins. The caudal (tail) fin is forked.

Length up to: 30 cm (12 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Cape Mendocino to northern Baja California along rocky shores, often at the edges of kelp beds; occasionally over sand but not found in the surf zone.

DIET IN THE WILD: Rainbow Surfperch feed on isopods, amphipods and other crustaceans; also snails and brittle stars.

REPRODUCTION: H. caryi males approach the female from below; both swim with vents close for 2 or 3 seconds, then separate and repeat the process. As all surfperch H. caryi fertilization is internal and are viviparous (livebearers) giving birth to as many as 22 young which are fully-formed 5 cm at birth miniature versions of the adults.

COSERVATION: IUCN: Not evaluated.

REMARKS: Divers in Monterey Bay report rainbow surfperch cleaning ocean sunfish (Mola mola).


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California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Rocky Coast 2017

California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife



Taken on July 18, 2012, 10-4-12, 8-8-14, 7-10-17
Date: 2012-08-15 22:44:45

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