Kingdom:Animalia (animals)
Phylum; Chordata (chordates)
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Scorpaeniformes (Scorpionfishes and flatheads)
Family: Hemitripteridae (Sea ravens or sailfin sculpins)

Genus/species: Nautichthys oculofasciatus


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  The tall, first dorsal fin is extended in front of the head as the fish swims  which resembles a sail. Color varies, grayish on top with variously hued markings and occasionally red markings on dorsal fin. Caudal fin rounded, directed upward. A black band runs diagonally down and back through eye . To 20 cm (8 inches).

Sailfin Sculpin14972884586_258b21dea7_h

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Alaska to San Miguel Island, southern California. Habitat: Found at about 90 m (300 ft) most often on rocky bottoms with algae; occasionally seen hanging upside down in rock crevices.

DIET IN THE WILD: Small invertebrates

REPRODUCTION: Female spawns in winter and spring, when eggs are laid on rocks and often among mussel beds. The male guards the eggs.

Sailfin Sculpin

CONSERVATION: IUCN; not evaluated

Remarks: Common derived from the tall anterior dorsal fin which is extended in front of the head as the fish swims  which resembles a sail. Often the sailfin moves back and forth in the same rhythm as the movement of nearby seaweeds. Coupled with its cryptic coloration, this behavior disguises it from predators.




Ron’s WordPress Shortlink

Ron’s flickr