Oxyjulis californica is a species of wrasse native to the eastern Pacific Ocean along the coasts of California and Baja California. Its distribution extends from Salt Point in Sonoma County, California, to southern central Baja California, near Cedros Island. It is a very common species; its common name in Spanish is señorita. This fish can grow to 25 cm (9.8 in) in total length. Its body is fusiform, frequently described as “cigar-shaped”. It is brown or shiny bronze dorsally and orange on its sides, becoming paler ventrally. The base of the tail fin is mostly covered with a large black or chocolate brown spot. The mouth is small and it has protruding “buck teeth”. This fish lives in near-coastal marine habitats, especially kelp forests and reefs. It has been observed at depths of 73 m (240 ft), but it generally lives at 20 m (66 ft) or less. It may cruise in a small school, but if threatened, it often retreats to the bottom, digging into the substrate to hide. It also rests on the bottom at night, burrowing in backwards so only its head sticks out of the substrate. The fish tends to return to favorite locations; in one experiment, señoritas were caught and then released a distance away, and most found their way back to their original home ranges. Fishermen generally do not seek this species as quarry, and it can be an annoyance when it steals bait off hooks. While technically edible, it is not valuable as a food fish.

senorita.txt · Last modified: 2014/03/19 08:58 by grinder
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