Nematistius pectoralis Gill, 1862, Cape Saint Lucas, Baja California, Mexico.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
Body fusiform and elongate, with a raised profile of the head that extends to the dorsal fin. The first dorsal fin has seven long spines that retract into a groove; it may have a signal function, or it may be used in maneuvering when attacking prey. A second dorsal fin has 25–28 soft rays. There are three spines and 15–17 soft rays in the anal fin. The caudal fin is forked. Body color is blue dorsally and silvery white ventrally. There are black stripes positioned obliquely on the dorsal surface; one runs up onto the upper lobe of the caudal fin. Grows to nearly 65 in (165 cm) in length, with a weight of nearly 115 lb (52 kg).
Eastern Pacific from southern California, where it is rare, south through Baja California, Mexico, and the Gulf of California, where it is more common, and down to Peru and west to the Galбpagos Islands.
Mainly inshore or near-coastal habitats, especially off sandy beaches.
Not well known. Usually solitary or travels in small groups.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
A predator upon fishes and other smaller pelagic organisms.
Reproduction not well known. Likely a pelagic spawner, with pelagic eggs and larvae. May spawn in groups. Spawning probably is seasonal, especially at higher latitudes.
Not listed by the IUCN, but vulnerable to overfishing.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
An important game fish that also is taken as a commercial and subsistence food fish. Some collected incidentally for public aquaria.
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