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

Genus/species: Rhacochilus toxotes

 Rubberlip Surfperch14903173973_a0105891ee_k

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Silvery blue to purplish on dorsal surface; pectoral fins yellowish; pelvic fins black or dusky fringed with black; prominent lips thick, pink or white. The lower jaw is slightly shorter than the upper. Juveniles have one or two vertical dusky bars on the body, usually are not found on adults.The largest of the surfperches, up to 19 inches long. A 16.5 inch specimen weighed 3 pounds.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Rubberlip Surfperch are found in the Eastern North Pacific: Cape Mendocino, California to Central Baja California generally favoring inshore waters with rocky shelves and extensive kelp beds.

DIET IN THE WILD: R. toxotes is an oral “winnowers” (to blow upon) sifting out thin-shelled invertebrates from the substrate; occasionally eat mollusks and algae.

REPRODUCTION: Like all surfperches, they are viviparous with young highly developed and free-swimming at birth.

CONSERVATION: IUCN: Not evaluated.

REMARKS: Overall population decline. Small commercial fishery in Southern California; most caught by sport fishermen who seek out the larger, mature females.


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