New and Unusual Reef Fish Discovered at the California Channel Islands During the 1997-1998 El Nino
Richards, Daniel V.
Engle, John M.
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Observations of warm- water species rarely seen in California are often associated with El Nino Southern Oscillations (ENSO). Here we document new occurrences of tropical reef fish at the California Channel Islands. In 1998, three species, new to California were recorded at San Clemente or Santa Catalina islands (Apogon pacificus, Nicholsina denticulata, and Chromis alta). New island records of six tropical species (Azurina hirundo, Apogon guadalupensis, Scorpaenodes xyris, Chaenopsis alepidota, Chaetodon falcifer, and Chilomycterus reticulars) from the northern Channel Islands extend the northern range of these species. Several of these species seem well established and appeared to be reproductive. Others diminished during the cold water period in 1999.