IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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  Common names: opaleye (English), chopa (Espanol)
Girella simplicidens Osburn & Nichols, 1916

Gulf opaleye

Body an elongate oval, moderately compressed;  head blunt, short; mouth small, square, lips thick, opens at the front; the top jawbone slips partially under the under-eye bone when the mouth is closed; teeth incisiform, bases set horizontally in mouth, with curved, hockey-stick shape, outer band of large movable teeth with flattened, 1-pointed tips; no teeth on central roof of mouth; dorsal fin continuous, XIV spines that fold down into a scaly groove, 14; anal rays III, 12; spines on fins short, thick; tail blunt, straight; paired fins are relatively short; origin of the pelvics behind the base of the pectoral fin; all fins with angular tips; scales small, thick and rough, covering the body, head (except the snout) and soft portions of the median fins; scales in midlateral series about 50.

Dark brownish grey, usually slightly lighter on head and breast; three or four diffuse whitish spots on upper back below dorsal-fin base; eye bright blue.

Size: to 46 cm.

Habitat: often seen in large schools that graze on algae on rocky reefs.

Depth: 1-15 m.

Gulf of California; abundant in the northern Gulf, but scarce in the southern portion.


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© Shorefishes of the tropical eastern Pacific online information system. www.stri.org/sftep

Source: Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Online Information System

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