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

Genus/species; Sebastes miniatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Caudal fin slightly indented. Dark red in color, sides mottled with gray; mouth and fins red, fins usually edged with black; 3 obscure stripes radiating from each eye. The mouth is large, with the lower jaw slightly projecting. On fish shorter than 12 inches, the mottling is much more apparent and the fins are often edged with black. The vermilion rockfish has scales on the bottom of the lower jaw which make it rough to the touch. Max length : 91.0 cm (36 inches).

Sebastes miniatus14785052061_ca258d6da6_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Eastern Pacific: British Columbia, Baja California, Mexico. Marine; Adults inhabit shallow to deep rocky reefs at depths of 100 to 500 feet, (has been taken from depths as great as 900 feet).

DIET IN THE WILD: Smaller fishes, squid and octopus. Most fishes that are eaten are other smaller kinds of rockfish.

REPRODUCTION: Viviparous. As with all other rockfish, fertilization is internal and the young are mobile with the free-swimming young feeding primarily upon shrimp–like organisms.


REMARKS; Largest recorded in CA was 30 inches; Weight of at least 15 pounds. Largest taken off California by a recreational angler: 14 pounds, 9 ounces.

Color of Life note: Red color is the first to be filtered out as one depends deep into the ocean making this Vermillion rockfish hard to spot by predators.
Ref: California Academy of Sciences, Color of Life Exhibit 2015


California Dept of Fish and Wildlife

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