Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Embiotocidae
Etymology: Cymatogaster: Greek, kyma,-atos = wave, swelling, bump + Greek, gaster = stomach (Ref. 45335); aggregata: Cymatogater foetus belly - alluding to the fact that it is a live bearer; aggregata crowded together (Ref. 4930).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; non-migratory; depth range ? - 146 m (Ref. 2850). Subtropical
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 20.3 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27547); common length : 11.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. reported age: 9 years (Ref. 56049)
(total): 8 - 11;
soft rays: 22 - 25;
Vertebrae: 33 - 37. Distinguished by the rather deep, compressed body, the large scales, and the three spines in the anal fin (Ref. 27547). Lateral line slightly arched, complete (Ref. 27547). Generally silvery, with back dusky to greenish; middle of sides toward head are scales with groups of fine black dots on them, forming about eight longitudinal stripes; the stripes are often interrupted, especially in females, by three pale yellow, vertical bands; paired fins colorless; dorsal and caudal fins plain or dusky; anal fin usually colorless, sometimes with a yellow blotch toward the front (Ref. 27547). Breeding males may be almost solid black and develop fleshy lobes on both sides of anal fin (Ref. 27547).
Eastern Pacific: Wrangell, southeastern Alaska to Bahia San Quintin, northern Baja California, Mexico.
Usually in shallow water, around eelgrass beds, piers and pilings and commonly found in bays and quiet back waters (Ref. 2850). Also in calm areas of exposed coast (Ref. 2850). Enter brackish and fresh waters (Ref. 2850). Found in loose schools or aggregations (Ref. 2850). Young feed mainly on copepods, while adults eat various small crustaceans, mollusks, and algae (Ref. 27547). Viviparous, female carries the developing young (Ref. 205). Exhibit seasonal onshore-offshore movements (Ref. 27547).
Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann, 1983. A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 336 p.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums; bait: occasionally
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.0000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01995 (0.00906 - 0.04395), b=3.01 (2.83 - 3.19), based on all LWR estimates for this BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.0 ±0.31 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=1; tmax=9; Fec=3-78).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (17 of 100) .