Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Embiotocidae (Surfperches)
Genus/species: Hypsurus caryi
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Compressed and oval to oblong-shaped body. Base coloration is usually silver, and some species have stripes or bars, which may be dependent on the time of year (breeding vs. non-breeding coloration) and whether the fish is a juvenile or adult. Fins tinged with orange with black blotch on continuous soft dorsal and anal fins. The caudal (tail) fin is forked.
Maximum fish length per species ranges from 4 to 18 inches.
DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Cape Mendocino to northern Baja California along rocky shores, often at the edges of kelp beds; occasionally over sand but not found in the surf zone.
DIET IN THE WILD: Rainbow Surfperch feed on isopods, amphipods and other crustaceans; also snails and brittle stars.
REPRODUCTION: H. caryi males approach the female from below; both swim with vents close for 2 or 3 seconds, then separate and repeat the process. As all surfperch H. caryi fertilization is internal and are viviparous (livebearers) giving birth to as many as 22 young which are fully-formed 5 cm (2 in) at birth miniature versions of the adults.
COSERVATION: IUCN: Not evaluated.
REMARKS: Divers in Monterey Bay report rainbow surfperch cleaning ocean sunfish (Mola mola).
California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Rocky Coast 2019
Ron’s Wordpress shortlink fishoncomputer.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=5053&...
California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/sfmp/surfperch-id.asp
2012, 10-4-12, 8-8-14, 7-10-17