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Family: Lampridae (Opah)

Genus and Species: Lampris guttatus

Description: Has deep, compressed body. Dark steely blue dorsally shading into green with silver and purple iridescence, belly rosy, body covered with silvery spots in irregular rows, light mottling on caudal and dorsal fins; vermillion on fins and jaws, golden around eyes.

Range: Its range is worldwide in tropical, warm temperate waters where it resided in depths of 300 to 1200 feet.

Natural History: Opah are solitary, deepwater fish of which little is known. Squid and small fish make up the majority of their diet. They appear periodically in Southern California waters during particularly warm waters years, as when the El Niño is present.

Fishing Information: Opah are not found in schools, and thus are not caught in any quantity. However, individual fish are regularly hooked by longline boats fishing over seamounts. It most often is caught by sport anglers as bycatch when fishing for tuna.

Other Common Names: Moonfish, pez mariposa.

Largest recorded: 181 lbs, Baja California, MX, 2014.


Sources:FishBase, FishBase Consortium, 2005

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