GRUNION
Leuresthes tenuis

Habitat: Typically found in schools, in shallow water, just behind the surf line.

Average adult size: Adults can grow to be 7 inches long.

Natural history: Most people are familiar with grunion since they have the unusual habit of spawning on the beach. This only happens at certain times: right after a full moon and a few hours after high tide in the late spring. The males and females leave the water and squirm up the beach. She digs her tail into the sand and deposits her eggs. The male wraps around her body, depositing sperm, which fertilizes the eggs. Females can produce 1,000-3,000 eggs in a season. The eggs stay in the sand for a couple of weeks until the next high tide moves in to wash them back into the water.

Range: From San Francisco to southern Baja, California.


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