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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Catalog of Otoliths of Select Fishes from the California Current System


This catalog contains images and features of sagittal otoliths from 47 species belonging to 17 families of fish found in the California Current System. We focus primarily on mesopelagic species, which are ecologically important yet are less studied than other species. For each sagitta, two images are presented, one with the sulcus up and another with the sulcus down. The linear relationship between standard length (SL) of a fish and major axis length (MAL) of its sagitta is presented for 24 species. Significant variability in SL is explained by MAL for 22 of the 24 species (n =5-61, R2 > 0.61, p < 0.05). Collection data and geometric shape features of all otoliths are also presented in tabular format. Our guide will assist researchers in the identification of sagittal otoliths of unknown origin and to estimate fish length from sagittal otolith size.

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