Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Scorpaeniformes (Scorpionfishes and flatheads)
Scorpaenidae (Scorpionfishes or rockfishes)

Genus/species: Scorpaena guttata


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Stocky, large mouth; large spiny head and large fan-shaped pectoral fin. Red to brown, pale mottled brown spots on body and fins. Length to 43 cm (17 inches).

DISTRIBUTION: Santa Cruz, California to the Gulf of California in tide pools to 183 m (600 ft), usually at depth less than 30 m (100 ft). Typically found in rocky areas of bays and along shore. Most active at night.

DIET IN THE WILD: Small crabs, also shrimp, octopuses and small fishes.

MORTALITY/LONGEVITY: Live to at least 21 years.


REPRODUCTION: Migrate extensivelyduring summer in order to form large spawning aggregations. Mature at two years old. Fertilization is internal. Females produce eggs imbedded in gelatinous walls of hollow pear-shaped structures, which are transparent or green. The “balloons” float near the surface and the eggs hatch in around five days.

REMARKS: Spines are venomous.

Southern California Marine CC14


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