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Grunion Fish

Grunion fish

About Grunion fish : Grunion is two fish species of the genus Leuresthes, Grunion are known for their abnormal mating ritual whereby at very high tides. A correlated species that is the false grunion, its scientific name is Colpichthys regis, lives in the Gulf of California. California grunion is a species of aquatic fish found only along the coast of southern California. They are rightly famous for their exceptional spawning behavior. Grunions spawn entirely out of the water and lay their eggs on sandy beaches shortly after high tide. The eggs remain hidden in the sand throughout incubation, completely out of water for approximately three weeks.

Habitat : For habitat, adults have a preference to relatively low inshore waters close to the open coast and in bays. These fish like to exist at or near the surface and, as far as researchers know, they do not travel. Their spawning behaviors are absolutely adapted to the surf zone close to sandy beaches. Not much is known about the food of grunion.

Diet : They have no teeth, so scientists assume that grunion nourish on very minute organisms such as sea animals or very tiny fishes.

Physical features : Grunion is very small aquatic fish that are about the size of sardines and belong to the family of Atherinopsidae. The grunion is a lean fish that is pearl gray on its stomach and side and greenish-blue on its back. Its most unique physical characteristic is a prominent silver-blue band on its sides. Adult grunion is about 6-8 inches long, with females being a bit larger than males. Their usual life period is three to five years, but according to researchers, relatively few live longer than five years.

Reproduction : The Grunion's spawning period varies to some extent from year to year but generally lasts from before time of spring. Grunion, unlike other genus of fish, comes entirely out of the water to leave and fertilize their eggs on soggy, sandy beaches. Males and females Grunion fish swim in on waves and stay trapped on the sand when the water recedes. Females tunnel tail first into the sand to leave eggs, and the males release sperm openly on the eggs as they are being laid. This process takes about 40 seconds, and both male and female fish right away return to the ocean. The larvae hatch when the eggs rinse out by high waves during tides before the new and full moons. Grunion spawns at the age of 2 year, and lives for 3 to 5 years. Because of their susceptibility during the spawning season, they are sheltered by a closed season. (No taking of grunion is allowed during April to June.) During other months, no gear is allowed so collection may take place only with exposed hands, and a fishing license is necessary.

Status of the population : Despite local concentration, the Grunion is not a plentiful species. While the inhabitant's size is not known, all research points to a restricted resource that is effectively maintained at current reap rates under accessible regulations.

Quick Facts :

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Family: Atherinopsidae
  • Genus: Leuresthes