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

Genus/species:  Cymatogaster aggregata

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Shiner surfperch are small, deep-bodied fish, silvery colored with rows of dark spots on the scales that form vague black stripes on sides crossed by three vertical yellow bars. Males cover their shiny silver and yellow stripes with a darker courtship colors during the summer. Their maximum length is to 20 cm (8 in).

DISTRIBUTION AND HABITATShiners are found from Wrangell, Alaska to Baja California. Within their range, they are a common fish in shallow water around eelgrass beds, piers, pilings and oil platforms, and are also found in calm, shallow waters along the coast. They live in loose schools to depths of 146 m (480 ft). They are also known to enter brackish and fresh waters, and are common in San Francisco Bay.

DIET IN THE WILDTheir diet includes small crustaceans, crab larvae, and polychaete worms, as well as planktonic copepods, amphipods, fish eggs, algae and diatoms.

PREDATORS: These small fish are preyed upon by other fishes, including kelp bass, sand bass, and halibut as well as by harbor seals. They are caught along almost all shoreline fishing areas, probably the most common fish taken by recreational anglers along the California coast and in estuaries.

REPRODUCTION:Shiner surfperch mate during the summer; young are born the following spring or summer. Fertilization is internal, embryos are nourished internally, and females give birth to about 20 live young. Litter size varies from 4 to 25. Some males are sexually active immediately after their birth. Females grow faster than males. Their live span is at least six to eight years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List  Least Concern (LC)

LOCATION: Tidepool


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