Tag Archive: CC03


CLASS   Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)

ORDER    Atheriniformes (Silversides)

FAMILY    Atherinopsidae (Neotropical silversides

GENUS/SPECIES    Atherinops affinis


Blue gray to green above, silvery below; a striking silver band bordered above with blue extends the full length of the body.


Marine; brackish; pelagic-neritic..  Eastern Pacific: Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada to Baja California, Mexico and the Gulf of California. Subtropical; 55°N – 23°N.Common in bays, muddy and rocky areas and kelp beds, also in estuaries forming schools.


 A.  affinis adults feed on zooplankton while juveniles feed on algae and kelp fly larvae.


Demersal spawner in nearshore habitats. Oviparous, with planktonic, primarily neustonic larvae  Eggs are attached to spawning substrate and to one another by adhesive filaments


Other fishes, birds and people.


Called “topsmelt” for their habit of swimming up near the surface and schooling near shore.


Salt Marsh Pop-up CC03

flickr;  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157625063185432/

WORDPRESS SHORTLINK  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-x5

Raja binoculata  Class Chondrichthyes, Subclass Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays), Order Rajiformes (Skates and rays), Family Rajidae (Skates).

DISTRIBUTION: Bering Sea and southeastern Alaska to central Baja California.

HABITAT: Bottom dwellers on soft substrates, usually from shallow water to 300 m.  Found along the coast in estuaries, bays, and over the continental shelf. 

APPEARANCE:  Largest species of skate, adults usually 1.8 m (5.9 ft) and 91 kg (200 lb). There are two large dark spots with pale borders, one on each wing. The ventral side is white, sometimes with dark spots or blotches.

DIET: Benthic shrimps, worms, clams, some fishes.

REPRODUCTION and Development: Oviparous, and is one of the few skate species that typically have more than one embryo within each egg capsule, commonly called “mermaid’s purses”.   The egg capsule of a big skate is the largest of any skate, measuring 23–31 cm (9–12 in) long and 11–19 cm (4–7 in) wide.  The young emerge after 9 months and measure 18–23 cm (7–9 in).

REMARKS: Commercially fished off California.   R. binoculata‘s slow reproductive rate has led it to be assessed as Near Threatened by the World Conservation Union. 

LOCATION: Salt marsh pop-up CC03

 WORDPRESS SHORTLINK   http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-ev

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