Ocean Whitefish, Caulolatilus princeps: The Ocean Whitefish is characterized by its overall light blue-grey appearance, and long anal and dorsal fins that maintain their width throughout their length. The anal and dorsal fins have a yellow line and a white line at their margins and the pectoral fins have strong yellow and blue components (as pictured below). Their mouths end well before the eyes. There is a dark pit below and in front of the eyes that is brown in coloration, and at times there is a dark blotch on the gill covers. The caudal fin is yellow and concave.
The Ocean Whitefish is easily confused with Hubb’s Tilefish, Canlolatilus hubbsi (which has a large mouth, thick fleshy lips, a blunt straight caudal fin, and a black spot at the base of the pectoral fin), and the Pacific Golden-Eye Tilefish, Canlolatilus affinis (a less forked caudal fin and a yellow stripe below and in front of the eye).
The Ocean Whitefish is a member of the Malacanthidae Family which are also known as Tilefishes and Blanquillos. Three species of Tilefishes are found in the Gulf of California, each from the subfamily Latilinae, and they are found in moderately deep water over rubble bottoms. The Tilefishes are robust fish having moderately deep bodies with a characteristic predorsal ridge and long anal and dorsal fins that maintain their width throughout their length. At present there are 39 species of Malacanthidae known globally.
The Ocean Whitefish is found at depths of up to 450 feet in the water column over both rock and sand bottoms. It is found in all Mexican fishing waters including around the oceanic islands. The Ocean Whitefish is reported to reach just over three feet in length; however 18-inch models are much more common. They are viewed by locals as good table fare.