Cortez Damselfish
Jaquenta de Cortés
(Stegastes rectifraenum)

Cortez Damselfish, Stegastes rectifraenum: The Cortez Damselfish is characterized by a dark brown coloration that grades to lighter brown on the head, with scattered paler scales on the body.

The fins of this fish species are dark brown except for the pectorals which have a yellowish tinge.

The Cortez Damselfish is quite similar in appearance and easily confused with the Beaubrumel Major, Stegastes flavilatus (yellow tipped fins), and the Northern Whitetail Gregory, Stegastes leucorus (blue iris and white rimmed pectoral fin).

The Cortez Damselfish is normally found close to shore in the first 40 feet of the water column, in and around rocky reefs. It is very aggressive in its feeding habits and when defending its territory.

The maximum length for this species is reported to be 13 cm (5.1 inches) but we have collected a fish that was 16 cm (6.3 inches) extending the known maximum length for this species.

Distribution in Mexico fishing areas

In Mexican fishing waters the Cortez Damselfish is found south of Guerrero Negro on the Pacific side of Baja California, throughout the Sea of Cortez, and along the coast of the mainland south to Acapulco.

This is a member of a group of small, very colorful reef fishes found throughout the subtropical and tropical regions of the world’s oceans that make up the Pomacentridae Family

Cortez Damselfish picture

Cortez Damselfish, Stegastes rectifraenum: Caught while fishing from shore in December 2008, in rocky structure, utilizing standard surf gear on cut squid bait, Km. 21, Cabo Real, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Size approximately 5 inches. Fish identification courtesy H.J. Walker, Jr., Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif. Description and photo courtesy of John Snow.

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