High-fin Sand Perch
Camotillo Espinoso, Menta Espinoso
(Diplectrum labarum)

High-fin Sand Perch, Diplectrum labarum: The High-fin Sand Perch has a long slender body, overall grey-brown coloration, silver belly, and a head with a blunt snout and a projecting lower jaw.

This fish species has characteristic markings including a series of yellow lines: two on the anal fin, five on the caudal fin, one under the eyes, one on the dorsal spine, and six on the dorsal rays. The High-fin Sand Perch also has a purple spot on the gill cover and a black spot at the base of the tail.

The High-fin Sand Perch has a series of 8 wide lines on its sides. The second to fourth dorsal spines are longer, with black filaments and the second spine being at least twice as long as the first. The anal, dorsal and pelvic fins are transparent and the pectoral fins are yellow with red stripes. The caudal fin of the High-fin Sand Perch is concave with a longer upper lobe. The High-fin Sand Perch reaches 11 inches in length and is found at depths between 75 and 500 feet in the water column over sandy bottoms. It is a small, rare, deep-water species, and not much is known about its behavior.

The High-fin Sand Perch can be confused with three other species of Sand Perches: the Big Headed Sand Perch, Diplectrum euryplectrum; the Orange Spotted Sand Perch, Diplectrum eumelum; and the Torpedo Sand Perch, Diplectrum maximum. However, the first two species have orange and yellow bars and stripes across the face, and the third has virtually no markings at all.

Distribution in Mexico fishing areas

In Mexican fishing waters , the High-fin Sand Perch is found from Guerrero Negro south along the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula, throughout the Sea of Cortez, and along all parts of coastal mainland Mexico south to Guatemala; it appears to be absent from the oceanic islands.

The High-fin Sand Perch is a member of the Serranidae family which includes perches, groupers and sea basses. The Diplectrum Genus includes the Sand Perches.

High-fin Sand Perch fish picture 1

High-fin Sand Perch fish picture 2

High-fin Sand Perch, Diplectrum labarum: Showing unique preoperculum whose shape is a one of the essential keys to the identification of this fish species and gives rise to its alternative common name, Square Spur Sand Perch. Photo courtesy of John Snow.

High-fin Sand Perch fish picture 3

High-fin Sand Perch, Diplectrum labarum: Caught during a fishing trip with Capt. Pata in panga Salome, La Playita, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico, early morning in February 2004, in 71-degree water, at a depth of 300 feet, utilizing a Sabiki rig, size 4, 20-pound test, about 5 miles southeast of La Playita. Size approximately 6 inches. The middle picture was taken upon collection; the bottom picture several hours later. Description and photos courtesy John Snow. Species identification confirmed by Dr. Ross Robertson, Smithsonian Institute, Panama.

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