About This Fish


The roosterfish (Nematistius pectoralis) is a ray finned fish which belongs to the family Nematistiidae under order Perciformes of Class Actinopterygii. The roosterfish is a game fish commonly found in the Pacific Ocean waters surrounding Mexico from the Gulf of California to Panama and in the eastern Pacific from California to Peru. This fish inhabits sandy inshore and near shore areas. It also occurs near shore reefs while juvenile occurs in tide pools.

The roosterfish’s body is elongated and taper shaped with pointed head and medium round eyes. The body of the roosterfish is green to black on the back and white or golden below. First dorsal fin has rooster comb like seven very long spines which are banded with alternate dark and light stripes. The longest spine is about half the length of the total length of the fish. The comb stands erect when the roosterfish is excited but ordinarily the fin remains retracted into a sheath along the fish’s back. Anal fin contains two spines and 15 soft rays while pectoral fin is very long and curved with 16 rays. The roosterfish has two dark curved stripes on the body and a dark spot at the base of the pectoral fin. Body is covered with small smooth scales. Lateral line is single and complete with about 130 scales in irregular series. Scutes are absent along lateral line. It feeds on sardines and other small silvery fishes. The roosterfish can reach over 191 cm in length and over 51 kg in weight.

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Costa Rica