Porichthys notatus  Girard, 1854

Plainfin midshipman
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Porichthys notatus
Picture by Bauder, C.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Batrachoidiformes (Toadfishes) > Batrachoididae (Toadfishes) > Porichthyinae
Etymology: Porichthys: Greek, poros = porous + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335).   More on author: Girard.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; demersal; depth range 0 - 366 m (Ref. 2850).   Subtropical; 58°N - 28°N, 136°W - 112°W

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Eastern Pacific: Sitka, Alaska to Magdalena Bay, southern Baja California, Mexico. Records from areas south of Baja California and in the Gulf of California are in error. Two populations exist, one from Oregon northward and the other from San Francisco southward (Ref. 2850).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 38.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2850)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 2; Dorsal soft rays (total): 33-37; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 30 - 35; Vertebrae: 42 - 46. Caudal fin rounded and narrow; pectorals broad (Ref. 6885). Olive brown to bronze or dark iridescent purple on dorsal surface, paler on sides with a golden yellow on ventral surface; white space under eye with a black crescent below; white on posterior edge of maxillary; young with a weak dark dorsal saddle (Ref. 6885). Branchiostegal rays: 6 (Ref. 36489).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Ranges from intertidal areas (where they may remain out of water under rocks or seaweeds, Ref. 31184) to deeper water over sand and mud bottoms (Ref. 4925). Adults make vertical migrations at night (Ref. 6885). Feed on crustaceans and fishes (Ref. 6885). Oviparous with eggs and larvae attached to nest wall (Ref. 36489). Nest is guarded by male (Ref. 36489). Important prey item for seals and sea lions (Ref. 2850). Adults breathe air when out of water (Ref. 31184). Possess photophores which are arranged on the underside of the head in a 'U' fashion.

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Nests are cavities that are formed under rocks and eggs are deposited on the roof of the cavity. As few as 19 or as much as 789 eggs have been found attached in a nest. Eggs are guarded by the fasting male. Probably polygamous (Ref. 6885).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Collette, Bruce B. | Collaborators

Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann, 1983. A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Boston (MA, USA): Houghton Mifflin Company. xii+336 p. (Ref. 2850)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: of potential interest
FAO(Publication : search) | FishSource |

More information

Larval dynamics
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


Special reports

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Internet sources

Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 6.9 - 16.8, mean 8.3 (based on 78 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5001   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00562 (0.00318 - 0.00993), b=3.15 (2.99 - 3.31), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.0   ±0.67 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=3.5; tmax=7).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (47 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.