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Zapteryx xyster Jordan and Evermann, 1896
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Zapteryx xyster
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Zapteryx xyster

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Zapteryx xyster
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Zapteryx xyster

Main identification features
  • snout pointed
  • irregular bars + 2 yellow ocelli
Body slender and somewhat shark-like with two equal-sized dorsal fins; head and adjoining pectoral fins forming a distinctly triangular structure; head relatively broad, snout short, relatively pointed, with two ridges running forwards from inner edges of eyes; a large spiracle behind each eye; a row of thorny projections along dorsal midline from behind eyes to origin of first dorsal fin; tail fin asymetrical, without distinct lower lobe.

Red-brown, heavily mottled with blackish blotches that tend to form cross bars; two pairs of yellow ocellated spots, one at mid-body, the other at the rear of the pectorals; belly uniform pale.

Size: reaches 91 cm.

Habitat: benthic on soft bottoms, sometimes adjacent to rocky reefs; common in bays.

Depth: 0-25 m.

Mazatlan (SE Gulf of California) to Peru.

Abundance: Common.
Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo); Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos); South Temperate (Peruvian Province ).
Depth Range Max: 25 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: mobile benthic worms; mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs); mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves; octopus/squid/cuttlefish.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=23; Southern limit=-9; Western limit=-106; Eastern limit=-78; Latitudinal range=32; Longitudinal range=28.
Egg Type: Live birth; No pelagic larva; No pelagic phase.
Feeding Group: Carnivore.
FishBase Habitat: Reef Associated.
Global Endemism: Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic; East Pacific endemic; All species.
Habitat: Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom); Rocks; Soft bottom (mud, sand,gravel, beach, estuary & mangrove); Sand & gravel; Reef (rock &/or coral); Reef and soft bottom.
Inshore Offshore: Inshore; Inshore Only.
IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed.
Length Max: 91 cm.
Regional Endemism: Continent only; Continent; TEP endemic; Continental TEP endemic; 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic; All species.
Residency: Resident.
Salinity: Marine; Marine Only.
Water Column Position: Bottom; Bottom only;

Scientific source:

Links to other sites

  • Jordan , D.S. and Evermann, B.W., 1896., The fishes of North and Middle America: a descriptive catalogue of the species of fish-like vertebrates found in the waters of North America, north of the Isthmus of Panama. Part I., Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus., 47:1-1240.
  • McEachran , J.D.and Dunn, K.A., 1998., Phylogenetic analysis of skates, a morphologically conservative clade of Elasmobranchs (Chondrichthyes: Rajidae)., Copeia, 1998:271-290.


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