Latin name

Menticirrhus undulatus

Other names

California whiting, surf fish, sucker.


The body of the California corbina is elongated and slightly compressed, with a flattened belly. Its head is long and the mouth is small, the upper jaw scarcely reaching a point below the front of each eye. The first dorsal fin is short and high, the second long and low. Coloring is uniformly gray, with incandescent reflections and with wavy diagonal lines on the sides. This croaker and the yellowfin croaker (Umbrina roncador) are the only two of the eight coastal croaker present in California waters that have a barbel on the lower jaw. The California corbina has only one weak spine at the front of the anal fin; the yellowfin croaker has two strong spines.


California Corbina is found from the Gulf of California in Mexico to Point Conception, California.


The California corbina is a bottom-dwelling fish, found along the coastal surf zone, preferring sandy beaches and shallow bays.


The average weight of a corbina is 1 pound. The record catch is 6 pounds, 8 ounces. Adult corbina can also grow to 8 pounds.

Life history and Behavior

Males become sexually mature at the age of 2 years at 10 inches in length. Females become sexually mature at the age of 3 years at 13 inches in length. Spawning takes place from June through September, most intensely in July and August, and takes place offshore. California corbina move in small groups, larger individuals are often kept singly.

Food and feeding habits

The California corbina is an unpretentious feeder, mainly eating sand crabs and spitting out bits of clam shells. It also eats small crustaceans and sea worms. It scoops up sand with its mouth and separates food by passing the sand through its gills. Adults can sometimes be seen feeding in the surf, sometimes in such shallow water that their backs are exposed.


No information

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Acanthuriformes
Family Sciaenidae
Genus Menticirrhus
Species M.undulatus
Conservation status Data Deficient
Habitat Littoral
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg 3.86
Maximum length, cm 71
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Bentophage

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Corbina, California

Tags: Corbina, California