The halfmoon is named for its shape. It has a smooth, shallowly curved caudal fin that resembles a half moon.
  • Size

    Common length of 8-14 inches (20.3-35.5 cm)
  • Diet

    Kelp, red and green algae
  • Range

    Eastern Pacific from Vancouver Island to Baja, California
  • Habitat

    Kelp forests and rocky reefs

Physical Characteristics

  • Coloration is dark blue to blue-gray along the back, fading into a lighter blue-gray on the belly.
  • Though color varies among members of the species, all have a distinct black spot just above the gill openings.
  • Common length is 8-14 inches (20.3-35.5 cm).
  • Body is oval in shape, with a rounded head and blunt nose.

Animal Fact

Strong relationship with opaleye, and juvenile of both species often school together during maturation.

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet primarily consists of kelp and red or green algae, though the halfmoon is opportunistic and will feed on any small marine life that is available.

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Eastern Pacific from Vancouver Island to Baja, California.
  • Found in kelp forests and rocky reefs from depths of 9 to 130 feet (3-40 m).

Reproduction & Growth

  • Primary method of reproduction is through a broadcast method, wherein gametes are released into the water to fertilize; both fertilized eggs and larvae float in the water column until mature.
  • Occurs between July and October, once the fish has reached about 8 inches (20 cm) in length.

Conservation Status

  • “Least concern” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Halfmoon named for its smooth, shallowly curved caudal fin that resembles a half moon.
  • Strong relationship with opaleye, and juvenile of both species often school together during maturation.
  • Members of this species that live farther offshore often exhibit stronger blue coloring than their shore-dwelling counterparts.

Sources

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