Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Scorpaeniformes (Scorpionfishes and flatheads)
Family: Sebastidae (Rockfishes, rockcods and thornyheads)

Genus/species: Sebastes caurinus 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:   Deep, stout body. Color highly variable; dark brown or olive to pink or orange-red above, with patches of pink-copper and occasionally yellow.. Fins primarily copper, often dusky. They are distinguished from other rockfish species by the clear areas along the posterior two thirds of the lateral lines, and in having a whitish underside, usually with two dark bands radiating from eye. Dorsal fin membrane not deeply incised.  Length to 57 cm (22.44 inches long). Weight to 2.6 kg (5.73 pounds).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Gulf of Alaska to central Baja California. Habitat: Rocky or rock-sand bottoms, 10–180m. Solitary, bottom-dwelling reef fish which frequently live near pinnacles and wrecks. Particularly abundant in shallow, protected bays and inlets, among rocks and kelp beds; also found around pilings and jetties or under floats.  Adults avoid warm water; thus live deeper in southern California than further north.   

DIET IN THE WILD: Juveniles consume plankton. Adults are mainly benthic (organisms living on or in sea or lake bottoms).feeders and prey upon fishes, crabs, mysid shrimp, prawns, amphipods, octopuses, polychaete worms and fish eggs.

REPRODUCTION: Fertilization internal. via copulation and transfer of sperm through a modified urogenital papilla on the male.
The females store sperm in the ovaries for several months until ovulation then fertilization of the eggs. They are viviparous. The larvae mature in shallow water. Viviparous. Larvae planktonic.  Sexually mature at around five years.  

Mortality/Longevity: Live to at least 55 years.  Adults are eaten by lingcod Ophiodon elongatus and also other large predators.

REMARKS: Solitary usually seen alone, but are sometimes present in mixed aggregates with other species. Individual fish display agnostic behavior to show “protective territoriality”.

Rockfish species that live in the California coastal waters, are very important to commercial and sport fisheries. The 60 species of rockfish caught account for 34% by weight of all sportfish landed in California.

CONSERVATION: IUCN: No special status

California Rocky Coast CC06



 Animal Diversity Web (U. of Michigan)


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