Tag Archive: California Rocky Coast CC06

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum:  Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Suborder: Labroidei
Family: Embiotocidae (surfperches)

Genus/species: Rhacochilus vacca 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Above, dark gray or brown pigment with a silvery luster which dominates the color on sides and belly; darker blotches on the back and sides, dark vertical bars on juveniles; fins dusky deeply forked caudal fin.

Length 25–30 cm (10-12 inches); maximum 42 cm (16.5 in).


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Alaska to north central Baja California, Mexico.  Rocky shores, pilings, kelp beds,  underwater structures to 46 m (150 ft).        


DIET IN THE WILD: R. vacca feed on hard-shelled mollusks, crabs and barnacles. 

REPRODUCTION: Fertilization is internal. Viviparous (live bearer). Fecundity increases with age, averaging from 11–60 young.

LONGEVITY: 7–10 years.

CONSERVATION: Least Concern, the distribution of this species may coincide with a number of designated marine protected areas.

REMARKS: Specialized pharyngeal dentition enable the pile perch to crush hard shells persuading some ichthyologists to place the species in its own genus (Damalichthys). 


Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/7800199372/in/set-72157608348783942/

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Rocky Coast 2017

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/3640

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-Co

eol eol.org/pages/205598/details

IUCN Least Concern www.iucnredlist.org/details/155179/0


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Embiotocidae (Surfperches)

Genus/species: Amphistichus rhodoterus

 GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The body of the Redtail Surfperch is a deep oval shape and is compressed from side to side. All fins reddish or pink. Faded brown bars on the side. Silvery overall with pale olive shading above and 9 to 11 narrow vertical dark bars, posteriorly, broken and staggered along the lateral line. Caudal (tail) fin broadly forked; dorsal fin distinctive for the long dorsal spines that contrast with shorter soft rays.

Length up to: 41 cm (16 in) and 2.1 kg (4.5 lbs.) in weight.


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Temperate marine. Vancouver Island to Monterey Bay around sand beaches and rocky shores in surf.

DIET IN THE WILD:  A. rhodoterus feeds on worms, crabs, other small crustaceans, and fishes.

LONGEVITY: Life span: up to 9 years.

REPRODUCTION: The Redtail Surfperch females are viviparous and reproductively mature at 3–4 years; males mature at 2 years. The females enter bays and estuaries to spawn.

REMARKS: This shallow water schooling surfperch is most often caught from central California northward.  A. rhodoterus omprises 10–30% of the total recreational catch in this area. Redtails also support a sizable commercial fishery, and comprise almost 75% of the commercial surfperch catch.


Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/7800132290/in/album-72157608359804936/

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/3624

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Rocky Coast 2017

WashingtonDept. of Fish and Wildlife wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/bottomfish/identification/perch/a_rho…

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1jC


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  http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/mspcont4.asp

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/7804218942/in/set-72157608359804936/

fishbase http://www.fishbase.org/summary/3982       

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-EU


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

Genus/pecies: Sebastes serriceps


TreefishIMG_8880GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  One of the most striking, unusually marked rockfishes, with black stripes over a yellow body and red lips and chin. Compact body with large head venomous spines.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT:  San Francisco to central Baja California Inhabiting areas with numerous caves, crevices and other protective recesses. They are solitary and territorial and usually found between 6–40 m (19-125 ft) a maximum depth of 45 m (190 ft).


DIET IN THE WILD: Most probably either crepuscular (feeding at dawn and dusk) or nighttime ambush predator, feeding on shrimp, crabs and small fishes.

REPRODUCTION: Viviparous, same as other Sebastes.

PREDATORS: Sharks, dolphins, and seals.

LONGEVITY: Live up to 25 years.

REMARKS: S. serriceps is an important species in both the nearshore recreational fishery and in the commercial live fish fishery.

Serriceps means “saw head” in latin, referring to the large head spines. See below.

Treefish  (Juvenile) Sebastes serriceps IMG_0036

California Rocky Coast CC06


flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/4689974860/in/set-72157608333101710/

eol eol.org/pages/212870/details

WordPress Shortlink fishoncomputer.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=5013&…

 CA dept of fish and gamewww.dfg.ca.gov/marine/nearshorefinfish/treefish.asp


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

Genus/species: Sebastes maliger

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Brown, with yellow to orange ventral mottling. They have light-colored dorsal saddle patches on the anterior part of the body with vague bands over the head and through the dorsal fin. Often have freckles on head. The dorsal fin spines have deeply incised membranes and are very long.  All fins are dark brown to black except for the first dorsal fin, which has a yellow streak. Length To 61 cm (24 in).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Gulf of Alaska to Anacapa Passage in southern California. Bottom dwellers perching on rocks or hiding in rock crevices in subtidal waters to depths of 274 m (900 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: Herring, demersal, pelagic crustaceans, crabs, amphipods, euphasiids, and copepods.

REPRODUCTION: Viviparous as in other Sebastes sp.

LONGEVITY: Live to 95 years.

PREDATORS: Larger fish such as sharks.


California Rocky Coast CC06


 fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/Sebastes-maliger.html

 eol Encyclopedia of Life eol.org/pages/211614/details 

Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlifewdfw.wa.gov/fishing/bottomfish/identification/rockfish/s_…

flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608359804936/with/7793249686/

WORDPRESS SHORTLINK  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-Eu

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; some individuals 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 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) . Lurk solitarily in caverns and among crevices, rest benthically on their fins. 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.

CONSERVATION: IUCN, Not evaluated.

REMARKS: One of the tastiest rockfishes, but infrequently in markets because 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.”

 LOCATION: California Rocky Coast CC06

Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608333101710/

WORDPRESS SHORTLINK  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-Bk

eol eol.org/pages/209609/details

fishbase: www.fishbase.org/summary/3984

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 Coast CC06

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

Genus:species: Sebastes flavidus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  Olive green to greenish brown with some light mottling dorsally, light ventrally; fins yellowish green, ventral fins often tinged in orange and edged with pink.   Max length 66 cm (26 inches) Max weight 2.5 kg (5.5 pounds).

Juvenile photo below.  Juveniles found around floats and pilings.

Juvenile YellowTail Rockfish14290356927_6f6345d4de_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT:  Northeast Pacific: Alaska to San Diego, California. Forms schools in open water along steeply sloping shores or above rocky reefs; also amid cracks and crevices of the sea floor. Depth 0-549 meters (0-1800 feet).

DIET IN THE WILDPelagic crustaceans, fishes and squids.

REPRODUCTION: Viviparous, Max reported age  64 years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN; Not evaluated.

flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/7564720004/in/set-72157608359804936

WORDPRESS SHORTLINK http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-F1

fishbase   http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Sebastes-flavidus.html

eol  http://eol.org/pages/994489/details

California Rocky Coast CC06


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

Genus/species: Sebastes constellatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Elongate red-orange above, with 3–4 large whitish blotches on back; paler below. Small white dots cover most of the body. Max. length: 46 cm (18 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: San Francisco south to Baja in coastal waters; usually on deep reefs at 24¬–275 m (75-900 ft ).

REPRODUCTION:  As with other kinds of rockfish, fertilization is internal.  Viviparous (live young are born) with planktonic larvae and pelagic juveniles. 


REMARKS: Occasionally caught by sport fishers; considered highly flavorful.

California Rocky Coast  CC06

flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608333101710/with/2989047345/

WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-EM

fishbase:  www.fishbase.org/summary/3961

eol  http://eol.org/pages/203880/details

CA dept of fish and wildlife   www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/mspcont4.asp#starry

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

Genus/species: Sebastes rosaceus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICSFour to five whitish blotches bordered by purple on the back; reddish to purple mottling on back, sides red, whitish below. Unlike the Starry Rockfish, is not covered with white dots. A relatively small rockfish; Size: to 11 inches 30 cm  long.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITATPuget Sound to central Baja, but rare north of California. Bottom-dweller, usually between 30–45 m (100-150 ft.), though occasionally deeper.

DIET IN THE WILD: Small fishes, crustaceans.


Remarks: Rosy rockfish hide under dark ledges during the day.

CONSERVATION: IUCN; Unknown                                                                                                                                                                                                     

California Rocky Coast CC06  above


California Coast 6-19-14 Below

Vetted California Academy of Sciences,  MUpton@calacademy.org


flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608359804936/with/7715539098/


Montery Bay Aquarium: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animal-guide/fishes/rosy-rockfish

Kingdom:  Animalia
Phylum:  Chordata
Class:  Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order:  Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family:  Anarhichadidae (Wolffishes)

Genus/Species:  Anarrhichthys ocellatus

An eel-like fish (large, elongate, compressed body) with no pelvic fins. Large pectoral fins. Colored mostly gray to brown, occasionally greenish. Round dark spots with pale rings on body and fins. Length to 2.4 m (7.2 ft). Weight to 18 kg 41 lb. Not a true eel of the Order Anguilliformes.

Sea of Japan and Aleutian Islands to Imperial Beach, California. Adults live on bottom, usually among rocks in subtidal locations; often in dens.

Crabs, sand dollars, marine snails and fishes.

Both male and female wrap their body around the egg mass to keep the eggs in place and to deter predators .

Predators of eggs include benthic rockfish and kelp greenlings.

REMARKS: Can inflict a painful bite. An edible food fish

LOCATION: California Rocky Coast CC06

flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/4673324895/in/set-72157608359804936/

WORDPRESS SHORTLINK  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-Ff

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