Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Kyphosidae (Sea chubs) All similar families recognized by combination of ovate body, small mouth, strong caudal fin

Genus/species: Medialuna californiensis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Oval with a small mouth and caudal fin slightly indented. Color is 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.

Length up to 19 inches (48 cm)


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.


California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquariun, Southern California kelp forest 2017

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Pacific Coast Fishes Eschmeyer, Herald and Hammann page 224


More than You Want To Know About Pacific Coast Fishes Milton Love page 256

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