Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Pomacentridae (Damselfishes) They resemble the related cichlids and, like them, have a single nostril on each side of the head (most fishes have 2 nostrils on each side) and have interrupted lateral lines. They have a round to oval compressed body. Damselfishes have two anal spines (usually 3 in perch like species). Many species are brilliantly colored, often in shades of red, orange, yellow, or blue; most do not exceed a length of about 15 cm (6 inches).

Genus/species: Hypsypops rubicundus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Adults are perched-shaped and brilliant orange with green eyes. Young Garibaldi are even more colorful with bright blue spots on a reddish-orange body. Normally propels itself withers pectoral fins.

Length approximately 38 cm (15 in) in length (weight 2 pounds in nature)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Monterey Bay, California to southern Baja California, Mexico among rocky bottom reefs and kelp beds,intertidal to more than 30 m (100 ft). Often near crevices and caves.

DIET IN THE WILD: Diurnal consumers of sponges, bryozoans, anemones and worms.

MORTALITY: Lives to at least 25 years.

PREDATION: Bald Eagles at Santa Catalina Island eat them.


REPRODUCTION: Oviparous, pairs during breeding with eggs are demersal and adhere to the substrate. Males guard and aerate the eggs.


REMARKS: H. rubicundus is the official marine fish of the State of California. Common name is a reference to the redshirts worn by the armies of Giuseppe Garibaldi, a fighter for Italian unification.

In California it is illegal to catch tis species. they must be released alive.

Disturbed specimens will emit thumping sounds audible to divers.

The California State freshwater fish is the golden trout (Salmo agua-bonita, native only to California). It was found only in a few streams in the icy headwaters of the Kern River, south of Mount Whitney, before transplanting to other CA. locations.


California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, Giants and Southern California exhibits 2017

Ron’s flickr

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink:

Pacific Coast Fishes Eschmeyer, Herald and Hammann page 233-4

More Than You Want To Know About The Fishes of the Pacific Coast, Milton Love 1996 pages 279-281