Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Embiotocidae (Surfperches)

Genus/species: Amphistichus rhodoterus

 GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The body of the Redtail Surfperch is a deep oval shape and is compressed from side to side. All fins reddish or pink. Faded brown bars on the side. Silvery overall with pale olive shading above and 9 to 11 narrow vertical dark bars, posteriorly, broken and staggered along the lateral line. Caudal (tail) fin broadly forked; dorsal fin distinctive for the long dorsal spines that contrast with shorter soft rays.

Length up to: 41 cm (16 in) and 2.1 kg (4.5 lbs.) in weight.


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Temperate marine. Vancouver Island to Monterey Bay around sand beaches and rocky shores in surf.

DIET IN THE WILD:  A. rhodoterus feeds on worms, crabs, other small crustaceans, and fishes.

LONGEVITY: Life span: up to 9 years.

REPRODUCTION: The Redtail Surfperch females are viviparous and reproductively mature at 3–4 years; males mature at 2 years. The females enter bays and estuaries to spawn.

REMARKS: This shallow water schooling surfperch is most often caught from central California northward.  A. rhodoterus omprises 10–30% of the total recreational catch in this area. Redtails also support a sizable commercial fishery, and comprise almost 75% of the commercial surfperch catch.


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California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Rocky Coast 2017

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