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Uraspis helvola (Forster, 1801)
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Uraspis helvola
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Uraspis helvola

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Uraspis helvola
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Uraspis helvola
Uraspis helvola Copyright Michel Lamboeuf · 0
Uraspis helvola

Main identification features
  • oblong, compressed
  • dark, or 6 bars
  • inside mouth: white
  • no scales - breast, pectoral base
Oblong, compressed; dorsal rays VIII+I,25-30, first dorsal a low triangle, posterior spines of first dorsal fin may become embedded with growth); anal rays II (embedded in all but very young fish) + I,19-22; dorsal and anal without finlets behind pectoral > head length; gill rakers on first arch (excluding rudiments) 5-8 + 13-17; lateral line with pronounced arch anteriorly; straight part of lateral line with 23-40 small scutes; patches without scales on breast and base of pectoral fin.

Tongue, roof and floor of mouth white, remainder of mouth blue black; body dusky with 6 broad dark bars with narrow pale spaces between them.

Size: grows to at least 50 cm.

Habitat: coastal pelagic, typically occurs in small schools.

Depth: 10-300 m.

Circumglobal in tropical and temperate seas; known in the eastern Pacific from southern California, in the SW Gulf of California, the offshore islands (except Clipperton) as well as Costa Rica and Panama, and the inshore islands of Gorgona and La Plata.

Abundance: Common.
Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos); Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo); North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California).
Depth Range Max: 300 m.
Depth Range Min: 10 m.
Diet: Pelagic crustacea; bony fishes; zooplankton; pelagic fish larvae; pelagic fish eggs.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=34; Southern limit=-2; Western limit=-119; Eastern limit=-79; Latitudinal range=36; Longitudinal range=40.
Egg Type: Pelagic; Pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Carnivore; Planktivore.
FishBase Habitat: Bentho-Pelagic.
Global Endemism: Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans); East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West); Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America); East Pacific + all Atlantic (East+West); All Pacific (West + Central + East); TEP non-endemic; "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific); All species.
Habitat: Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom); Water column.
Inshore Offshore: Inshore; Offshore; In & Offshore.
IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed.
Length Max: 50 cm.
Regional Endemism: Island (s); Continent; Continent + Island (s); Eastern Pacific non-endemic; Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic; All species.
Residency: Resident.
Salinity: Marine; Marine Only.
Water Column Position: Mid Water; Near Surface; Water column only;

Scientific source:

Links to other sites

  • Aguilar-Palomino, B., Rodríguez-Romero, R.J., Abitia-Cardenas, L.A., 1995., Primer registro en aguas mexicanas del carángido Uraspis secunda (Golfo de California)., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 43:910.
  • Bloch , M. E. and Schneider, J. G., 1801., M. E. Blochii, Systema Ichthyologiae iconibus cx illustratum. Post obitum auctoris opus inchoatum absolvit, correxit, interpolavit Jo. Gottlob Schneider, Saxo. Berolini. Sumtibus Austoris Impressum et Bibliopolio Sanderiano Commissum., Systema Ichthyol., :1-584.
  • Béarez, P., 1996., Lista de los Peces Marinos del Ecuador Continental., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 44:731-741.
  • Castro-Aguirre, J.L. and Balart, E.F., 2002., La ictiofauna de las islas Revillagigedos y sus relaciones zoogeograficas, con comentarios acerca de su origen y evolucion. En: Lozano-Vilano, M. L. (Ed.). Libro Jubilar en Honor al Dr. Salvador Contreras Balderas., Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León:153-170.
  • Findley, L.T., Hendrickx, M.E., Brusca, R.C., van der Heiden, A.M., Hastings, P.A., Torre, J., 2003., Diversidad de la Macrofauna Marina del Golfo de California, Mexico., CD-ROM versión 1.0. Projecto de la Macrofauna del Golfo .  Derechos reservados de los autores y Conservación Internacional.
  • Fischer , W. , Krup , F. , Schneider , W. , Sommer , C. , Carpenter , K. E. and Niem, V. H., 1995., Guia FAO para la Identificacion de Especies de para los fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. Volumen II. Vertebrados - Parte 1., FAO2:647-1200.
  • Humann, P., 1993., Reef Fish Identification: Galapagos., New World Publishing:192pp.
  • Jimenez-Prado, P., Béarez, P., 2004., Peces marinos del Ecuador continental / Marine fishes of continental Ecuador., SIMBIOE/NAZCA/IFEA tomo 1 y 2.
  • Lea, R.N. and Walker Jr., H.J., 1995., Record of the bigeye trevally, Caranx sexfasciatus, and Mexican lookdown, Selene brevoorti, with notes on other carangids from California., Calif. Fish & Game, 81:89-95.
  • Love, M.S., Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A., Thorsteinson, L.K., 2005., es of the West Coast and Alaska: a checklist of North Pacific and Artic Ocena species from Baja California to the Alaska-Yukon border., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, 288pp.
  • McCosker , J.E. and Humann, P.H., 1996., New records of Galápagos fishes., Charles Darwin Foundation, Noticias de Galápagos., 56:18-26.
  • Vega, A.J., Villareal, N., 2003., Peces asociados a arrecifes y manglares en el Parque Nacional Coiba., Tecnociencia, 5:65-76.


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Following modified from Taiwan Biodiversity National Information Network
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Kingdom Animalia  
 Phylum Chordata  
 Class Actinopterygii  
 Order Perciformes  
 Family Carangidae  
 Genus Uraspis  
  Uraspis helvola    (Forster, 1801) 
Provider: Kwang-Tsao Shao 
hierarchy tree    download xml    download txt    Chinese Page    
Synonyms: Caranx helvolus Caranx micropterus Leucoglossa candens Scomber helvolus Uraspis helvolus Uraspis secunda   details
Citation: 臺灣魚類誌(沈等, 1993)
Character: D. VII-VIII (the posterior 1 embedded and not apparent), I+28-29; A. 0 (detached spines embedded and not apparent), I+21-22; P. i+20-21; G.R. 5-6+14-15; CLS. 54-66 scutes; SLS. 33-37 all scutes; vertebrate 10+14. Adipose eyelid rudimentary. Breast naked ventrally to origin of pelvic fins; laterally, naked area of breast separated from naked base of pectoral fin by a broad band of scales. Lateral line becoming to below 12-13th ray of the second dorsal fin. The posterior 1-3 spine of first dorsal fin embedded and not apparent with growth; free anal spines only exist in juvenile. Tongue, roof and floor of mouth white or cream-coloured,the rest blue-black; head dusky to black, with a large, diffuse black opercular blotch; body dusky to black dorsally, lighter below and with 6 or 7 wide, dark bands and narrow pale interspaces (faint bands evident in specimens as large as 25 cm; in specimens smaller than 10 cm bands may extend onto second dorsal and anal fins); second dorsal and anal fins hyaline to black; the anal fin commonly, and the second dorsal fin occasionally with tips of the falcate lobe and fin margin pale; pelvic fins generally black in specimens smaller than 10 cm fork length, rapidly becoming pale whitish at larger sizes; caudal fin pale yellowish dusky with trailing edges and tips of lobes blackish. 
Habitat: A pelagic and demersal species found in sandy bottoms at the foot of the edge of the outer reefs, continental coasts and around islands. Solitary or forming small schools. Mainly nocturnal. 
Distribution: Widely distributed in warm waters of Indo-Pacific. It is occasionally in southern Taiwanese waters. 
Utility: Marketed fresh and salted or dried. 
Name Code: 381557
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