Embiotocidae Cymatogaster aggregata

Shiner Perch

Clustered Wavy-bellied Viviparous

The surfperches are a family of perciform fishes, the Embiotocidae. They are mainly found in northeast Pacific Ocean (as far south as Baja California), but a few species (genera Ditrema and Neoditrema) are found in the northwest Pacific, and the tule perch is found in freshwater habitats in California, United States. The largest species in the family reaches 47 cm (19 in).

They are viviparous fishes, in which the embryo is nourished directly by the mother, as well as the yolk. This gives the family its scientific name, from Greek embios meaning "persistent" and tokos meaning "birth". This means the mother fish gives live birth instead of laying eggs.

Embiotocidae. Retrieved November, 05 2021, from

The shiner perch (Cymatogaster aggregata) is a common surfperch found in estuaries, lagoons, and coastal streams along the Pacific coast from Alaska to Baja California. It is the sole member of its genus.

Shiner perches are similar to tule perches, deep-bodied with a dusky greenish back and silvery sides that have a pattern combining fine horizontal bars with three broad yellow vertical bars. Breeding males turn almost entirely black, the barred pattern being obscured by dark speckles. Shiner perches are distinguished from tule perches by having fewer dorsal fin spines, just 8–9 vs the 15–19 of the tule perch. The rayed part of the dorsal fin has 18 to 23 rays. The anal fin has 3 spines followed by 22–25 rays.

Cymatogaster aggregata. Retrieved November, 05 2021, from