Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Kyphosidae

Scientific Name: Girella nigricans
Species Authority: (Ayres, 1860)
Common Name(s):
English Rudderfish, Opaleye
Spanish Chopa verde
Camarina nigricans Ayres, 1860
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. (ed.). 2014. Catalog of Fishes. Updated 31 October 2014. Available at: (Accessed: 31 October 2014).
Taxonomic Notes: Genetic studies indicate difference between Gulf of California and coastal Californian populations.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-05-23
Assessor(s): Allen, G. & Robertson, R.
Reviewer(s): Carpenter, K., Polidoro, B. & Livingstone, S. (Global Marine Species Assessment Team)
This species is relatively widespread in the Eastern Pacific, and the northern coastal California population is common. There are no known major threats to this species, and no current indication of population decline. It is listed as Least Concern. However, concern exists for the Gulf of California population which is considered rare and may be genetically different.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the Eastern Pacific, and is found from California to southern Baja, and an isolated population in the central and northern Gulf of California.
Countries occurrence:
Mexico; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – eastern central
Lower depth limit (metres): 32
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is apparently stable in California, but in the Gulf of California, this species is considered rare.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This benthopelagic, non-migratory species inhabits the intertidal region. It can leave tide pools if aquatic conditions become inhospitable (Martin and Bridges, 1999). It is also found near or over rocks and in kelp beds up to about 30 m depth. It can form dense schools in spring in kelp beds, and breathes air when it is out of water (Martin and Bridges, 1999).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This fish is considered to be commercially important (Randolph and Snyder, 1993). It is an important game fish and may incidentally be caught in commercial fishing activities (Sommer, 1995).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats known for this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures for this species. However, this species distribution falls partially into a number of Marine Protected Areas in the Eastern Pacific region (WDPA 2006).

Citation: Allen, G. & Robertson, R. 2010. Girella nigricans. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T184016A8219255. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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