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

Genus/species:   Sebastes nebulosus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Body blue or black, mottled with yellow with some individuals being white ventrally. A broad yellow stripe from about the 3rd dorsal spine runs into or along the lateral line. Pelvic, anal and caudal fins are dark.

Length up to 45 cm (18 in), weight to 1.7 kg (3.75 lbs)


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Southeast Alaska to Southern California. Lives among rocky shores along exposed coasts to depths of 3–138 m (10-450 ft). S. nebulosus lurks solitarily in caverns and among crevices, resting  benthically on their fins. They Often remain on their “homesite” for many years.

DIET IN THE WILD: Preys upon fishes, crustaceans (including amphipods, crabs and shrimps), brittlestars and mollusks (including gastropods, squid and octopuses).

REPRODUCTION: Fertilization internal

MORTALITY: Can live to at least 79 years


REMARKS: One of the tastiest rockfishes, but infrequently in markets because it is rarely caught. All rockfishes have venomous spines on dorsal, pectoral and anal fins. Not so toxic as scorpionfishes venom, but still capable of inflicting a painful sting. Sebastes is Greek for “magnificent.” Nebulosus is Latin for “clouded.”


Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann, 1983. A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 336 p.

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Rocky Coast 2017


Probably More Than You Want To Know About The Fishes Of The Pacific Coast, Milton Love 1996 Really Big Press ppg 177-178

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