Bridled Sand Perch, Diplectrum rostrum: The Bridled Sand Perch has an elongated body with an overall tan coloration, white belly, and a series of characteristic markings that include a series of yellow lines through and under the eyes (as pictured below giving rise to it’s name), a yellow ring around the pupil of the eye, a large purple spot on the gill cover, five to seven faint dark bars on its sides, and two black spots at the top of the tail base.
The maximum length for this species is reported to be 21 cm (8.25 inches) but we have collected a fish that was 26.4 cm (10.4 inches) extending the known maximum length for this species. They are found at depths between 50 and 250 feet over sandy bottoms.
As it is a small, rare, and deep water species, not much is known about its behavior.
This fish species can be easily confused with the Gulf Sand Perch, Diplectrum sciurus (two or three rows of yellow spots on its soft dorsal, eight to ten dark bars on its side, irregular small yellow spots on the tail), the Mexican Sand Perch, Diplectrum macropoma (yellow bar under its eye, orange-red pelvic fins, yellow and black gills), or the Pacific Sand Perch, Diplectrum pacificum (facial orange spots, pink blotch above the anal fin origin).
In Mexican fishing waters the Bridled Sand Perch is found from Magdalena Bay south along the Pacific side of Baja California, in the lower one-third of the Sea of Cortez, and along all parts of the coastal Mexican mainland south to Guatemala. Its appears to be absent from around Mexico's oceanic islands. The size of the Bridled Sand Perch makes it of limited interest to most.
The Bridled Sand Perch is a member of the Serranidae Family which includes perches, groupers and sea basses which in Mexico are known as cabrillas and meros.