Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Kyphosidae (Sea chubs)

Genus/species: Medialuna californiensis


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Slate blue to blue-black, silver belly. dusky area above gill cover. Medialuna and common name refers to the half-moon shape of the tail. Scales extend over part of dorsal fin. Grow to about 20 cm (8 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Vancouver Island, British Columbia to Gulf of California. Most common south of Point Conception, California. Found commonly on nearshore rocky reefs and in kelp beds. Most abundant from 3–20m (10-65 feet).

DIET IN THE WILD: Seaweed, sponges, small invertebrates. Diurnal feeders.

REPRODUCTION: Females oviparous.

PREDATORS: Taken by California sea lions, northern fur seals, loons, cormorants, and bald eagles among others.

Halfmoon  3702917995_61211c59dc_b

REMARKS: A popular sport fish, especially from Santa Monica south. Also a small commercial fishery, as flesh is of excellent quality. Typically found in schools or loose aggregations.

Southern California kelp forest CC14

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