Barred Surfperch
Amphistichus argenteus

Physical Description

  • Flattened, oval-shaped body
  • Continuous dorsal fin (no notch between two dorsal fins)
  • Olive green to yellow green body, silver belly. 
  • Yellow or bronze barred (vertically striped) sides, or no bars at all
  • No red in tail, unlike many surfperches
  • Up to 17 inches long

Range

  • Bodega Bay, California to Plaza Maria Bay, Baja California, Mexico

Habitat

  • Usually live in the waves or just beyond the waves (hence the name surfperch)
  • Depths of 0-240 feet
  • May live in kelp forests

Diet

  • Sand crabs, bean clams, and other crustaceans

Predators

  • Seals, larger fishes

Interesting Facts

  • Also called the California Perch.
  • Surfperches give birth to live young. They can give birth to 113 live young at a time! 
  • Tagging information has helped scientists learn that surfperch move very little, often only about 2 miles in their lifetime! 

Sources: Wildcoast; California Department of Fish and Game; California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Photo: Ron DeCloux

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