California Yellowtail

Jacks, Amberjacks and Pompanos: Family Carangidae Species: Seriola dorsalis (Valenciennes, 1833); from the Italian word seriola (for amberjack) and dorsalis (the long dorsal fin). Some sources now use Seriola lalandi. Yellowtail reported at 46-pounds caught at the Crystal Pier by Thomas Shinsato in 2015 Alternate…

Cortez Bonefish

Bonefish caught at the Balboa Pier Bonefishes: Family Albulidae Species: Albula gilberti (Pfeiler & Van der Heiden, 2011). Previously referred to as Albula vulpes and “Albula sp. A.” From the Latin Albula (meaning fox).   Alternate Names: Bonefish, ladyfish, mullet, silver ghost, silver shuttle, sanducha…

Common Thresher Shark

Thresher taken at the Goleta Pier by Big Red Thresher Sharks: Family Alopiidae Species: Alopias vulpinus (Bonnaterre, 1788); from the Greek word alopos and Latin word vulpes, (both meaning fox). Alternate Names: Thresher, blue thresher, longtail shark, swiveltail, fox shark, sea fox, fish shark, sea…

Sargo

Grunts: Family Haemulidae Species: Anisotremus davidsonii (Steindachner, 1876); from the Greek word anisotremus (unequal aperture, in reference to the pores on the chin), and davidsonii (for George Davidson, a 19th Century astronomer at the California Academy of Sciences). Alternate Names: China croaker, black croaker, blue…

Starry Flounder

Righteye Flounders: Family Pleuronectidae Species: Platichthys stellatus (Pallas, 1787); from the Greek words platy (flat) and ichthys (fish) and the Latin word stellatus (starry). Alternate Names: Rough-jacket, great flounder, grindstone, emery flounder, emerywheel, leatherjacket, English sole, sand paper flounder, diamondback, long-jaw flounder, California flounder, swamp…

Diamond Turbot

Righteye Flounders: Family Pleuronectidae Species: Hypsopsetta guttulata (Girard 1856); from the Greek word hypsopsetta (deep flounder, referring to the oval shape) and the Latin word guttulata (with small spots). Alternate Names: Turbot or diamond flounder. Called platija diamante in Mexico. Identification: Diamond turbot are (surprise,…

Walleye Surfperch

Surfperches/Seaperches: Family Embiotocidae Species:  Hyperprosopon argenteum (Gibbons, 1854); from the Greek root words hyper (above) and prosopon (face, from the upward direction of the face) and the Latin word argenteum (silvery). Family Embiotocidae, subfamily Amphistichinae. Alternate Names: Silver perch, white perch, surf fish, bigeye perch,…

Sevengill Shark

Cow Sharks: Family Hexanchidae Species: Notorynchus cepedianus (Perón, 1807); from the Greek roots noto (back) and r(h)ynchos (snout); and the Latin cepidianus (spotted). Small sevengill from the Berkeley Pier Alternate Names: Broadnose sevengill shark, cow shark, spotted cow shark, mud shark, bluntnose shark, broad-snout, sevengill,…

Brown Smoothhound Shark

Smoothhounds: Family Triakididae Species: Mustelus henlei (Gill, 1863); from the Latin word mustelus (weasel colored) and henlei (referring to Professor J. Henle, a 19th Century biologist). Class Chondrichthyes, Subclass Elasmobranchii, Superorder Galea, Order Carcharhiniformes, Family Triakidae—Hound sharks. Alternate Names: Sand shark, mud shark, paloma, dogfish…

Gray Smoothhound Shark

Smoothhounds: Family Triakididae Species: Mustelus californicus from the Latin words mustela (weasel-colored) and californicus referring to its geographic distibution. Alternate Names: Gray shark, sand shark, paloma, or dogfish. Identification: Very similiar to the leopard shark, but the coloring is a light gray back fading to…