Tag Archive: California rocky coast


TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)
Subclass: elasmobranchii (No swim bladders, five to seven pairs of gill clefts opening individually to the exterior, rigid dorsal fins, and small placid scales).
Order: Carcharhiniformes (Ground sharks)
Family: Triakidae (Houndsharks are distinguished by possessing two large spineless dorsal fins, an anal fin, and oval eyes with nictitating eyelids. They are small to medium in size, ranging from 37 centimetres (15 in) to 220 centimetres (7.2 ft).

Genus/species: Triakis semifasciata

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Grey to bronze-grey upper body with dark saddles and dots and a light ventral (bottom) surface. Short, broadly rounded snout. First dorsal fin is moderately large and its origin is over the pectoral fins inner margins. Second dorsal fin is nearly as large as the first one. Anal fin much smaller than the second dorsal fin. Pectoral fins broadly triangular. Max length : 198 cm (78 in).

Leopard Shark 2959038532_163d96da28_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Common from Oregon state to Baja California,Mexico. Prefers sandy and rock-strewn substrate near rocky reefs. Most commonly in enclosed muddy bays, including estuaries and lagoons, typically at less than 3.7 m or 13 ft depth, but ranges to 91m or 300 ft.

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DIET IN WILD: Fishes (especially northern midshipman, sanddab, shiner perch, bat rays and smoothhounds), siphons of clams, crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp. Feeds heavily on fish eggs (herring, jacksmelt and topsmelt) attached to rocks and plants.

 The leopard shark captures prey by expanding its buccal cavity to create a suction force, which is facilitated by its labial cartilages swinging forward to form the mouth into a tube. Simultaneously, the shark protrudes its jaws forward to grip the prey between its teeth.

REPRODUCTION: Ovoviviparous. Litters 4–29. Young average 21 cm or 8 in at birth.

PREDATORS: Can live to at least 30 years. These good eating sharks are a very popular as a sport “fish.” Also preyed upon by other sharks.

Leopard Shark 8415453774_b665c7a08e_o

IUCN Least Concern

REMARKS: In San Francisco Bay, leopard sharks tend to remain in the Bay throughout the year, with some emigration during fall and winter. Not dangerous.

Fossils of leopard sharks have been discovered in deposits dated to more than 1,000,000 years old in southern California.

References

Peterson Field Guides, Pacific Coast Fishes, Eschmeyer and Hearld 1983

WordPress Shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-Yt

flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/26397788159/in/album-72157608359804936/

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/2543

Ferry-Graham, L.A. (1998). “Effects of prey size and mobility on prey-capture kinematics in leopard sharks Triakis semifasciata” (PDF). Journal of Experimental Biology. 201 (16): 2433–2444. PMID 9679105.

Probably More Than You Want To Know About The Fishes Of The Pacific Coast, Milton Love 1996 Really Big Press p 60-61

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Malacanthidae (Tilefishes)

Genus//species: Caulolatilus princeps

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Color is yellowish-brown above and whitish below with a yellow tail. Elongate with a small mouth and fleshy lips. Dorsal and anal fins are long with blue and yellow stripes. Pelvic fins are thoracic. Fins have a yellow or yellowish-green edge.

Length up to 102 cm (40 in)
Weight up to 5.8 kg (12.76 lbs)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITATBritish Columbia to Peru, including the Galapagos Islands. Offshore rocky reefs, depths to 10–90 m. Found on muddy bottoms, soft sand as well as rocky bottoms.

LONGEVITY: 13 yrs or more.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Least Concern

REMARKS: Caulolatilus princeps are currently not an important commercial fish. (Overfished in the 1920’s and 1930’s).

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Rocky Coast 2017

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/37346112854/in/album-72157608359804936/

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/3539

Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann, 1983. A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Boston (MA, USA): Houghton Mifflin Company. pp 202-203.

Probably More Than You Want To Know About The Fishes Of The Pacific Coast, Milton Love 1996 Really Big Press pp. 235

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/183991/0

 

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink   http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-F7

 

TAXONOMY
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: They vary in color from bright red to orange-red with the sides mottled with gray. mouth and fins are red. The red fins usually are edged with black and 3 obscure stripes radiate from each eye. The caudal fin is slightly indented and the mouth is large, with the lower jaw slightly projecting. The vermilion rockfish has scales on the bottom of the lower jaw which make it rough to the touch.

Length up to 91.0 cm (36 inches)
Weight up to 15 pounds

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.

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LONGEVITY: live up to 22 years

REMARKS; Excellent food fish but does not keep well in the freezer

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

References

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

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Rocky Coast 2017

California Dept of Fish and Wildlife www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/mspcont4.asp

Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann, 1983. A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Boston (MA, USA): Houghton Mifflin Company. p 144

Probably More Than You Want To Know About The Fishes Of The Pacific Coast, Milton Love 1996 Really Big Press p 174

Ron’s flickr www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/7804218942/in/set-72157…

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/3982

TAXONOMY
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 CHARACTERISTICS: There are is a purple saddle behind the eyes and 4–5 whitish blotches bordered by purple are on the back. Sides are reddish with purple mottling on back, and whitish below.

Unlike the Starry Rockfish, the Rosy Rockfish is not covered with white dots. It is a relatively small rockfish; Length up to 11 inches (30 cm) long.

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

DIET IN THE WILD: Small fishes and crustaceans

REPRODUCTION: Livebearer.

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

CONSERVATION: IUCN; Unknown

                                                                                                                                                                                                 
References: 

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3380840962/in/album-72157608359804936/

Vetted California Academy of Sciences,  MUpton@calacademy.org 2014

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Coastal Marine 2017

Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann, 1983. A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Boston (MA, USA): Houghton Mifflin Company.

Probably More Than You Want To Know About The Fishes Of The Pacific Coast, Milton Love 1996 Really Big Press pp 184-185

 

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

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

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

Genus/species: Sebastes rubrivinctus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The body is deep, fusiform, compressed. Adult colored white-pinkish with 4 dark red-orange to reddish-brown bars across back and base of tail.

Length up to 64 cm (25 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: San Francisco, California, USA to Baja California, Mexico. Found at depths up to 300 m (900 ft). Adults typically solitary and shelter in and around rocks, large white sea anemones, ledge overhangs and in kelp.

DIET IN THE WILD: Benthic predators of crabs, hermit crabs, shrimps, fishes, and octopuses.

LONGEVITY: Live to at least 18 years.

REPRODUCTION: Fertilization internal. Livebearer.

CONSERVATION: 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species.

REMARKS: A popular sport fish. Sebastes is Greek for “magnificent.” Rubrivinctus is formed from 2 Latin words that translate as “red banded.”

References

Ron’s flickr    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608359804936/with/3505702397/

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Rocky Coast  2017

Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann, 1983. A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Boston (MA, USA): Houghton Mifflin Company. p, 149

fishbase www.fishbase.ca/summary/3997

Probably More Than You Want To Know About The Fishes Of The Pacific Coast, Milton Love 1996 Really Big Press ppg. 188-189

eol eol.org/pages/211626/details

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-E7

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)

Order: Scorpaeniformes (Scorpionfishes and flatheads)
Family: Sebastidae (Rockfishes, rockcods and thornyheads)

Genus/species:  Sebastes mystinus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS
Mottled blue-black to bright blue with two to four dark bands which curve around the front of the head. Sloping band from the eye toward the pectoral fin with a smaller band below. Rear edge of the anal fin is straight and slanted. 

Length up to 61.0 cm (24 in)

Weight up to max. published weight: 3.8 kg (8.4 lbs)

 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: S. mystinus is found along the coast from Alaska to Baja California. May be found near the surface or off the bottom, generally over shallow reefs, but also around kelp and over deep reefs. Form schools, sometimes with other rockfishes.

Sebastes mystinus4329897153_34929592a1_b

DIET IN THE WILD: Jellyfish, krill, copepods, fishes, hydroids and kelp. Larger blues eat relatively more fishes.

REPRODUCTION: S. mystinus matures between 6–9 years. Fertilization is internal with copulation and transfer of sperm via a modified urogenital papilla on the male.
The females store sperm in the ovaries for several months until ovulation then fertilization of the eggs occurs. They are viviparous. The larvae mature in shallow water.

LONGEVITY: up to 44 years 

PREDATORSAdults are preyed upon by other rockfish, lingcod, sharks, dolphins and sea lions.  

CONSERVATION: IUCN Not evaluated  

REMARKS: Blues are an important sports catch in California. During some years they represent up to 31% of all fishes taken in the marine recreational fisheries.

References  

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/7564777760/in/set-72157608333101710/

fishbase  http://www.fishbase.org/summary/3983

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Rocky Coast  2017

Pacific Coast Fishes Eschmeyer and Herald 1983 Easton Press page 144

eol eol.org/pages/211617/details

Probably More Than You Want To Know About The Fishes Of The Pacific Coast, Milton Love 1996 Really Big Press p175-177

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-CF

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes0
Order: Scorpaeniformes (Scorpionfishes and flatheads)
Family: Sebastidae (Rockfishes, rockcods and thornyheads)

Genus/species: Sebastes melanops

NOTE Eschmeyer (CAS curator emeritus) and others recognize Sebastidae as a separate family that includes only the rockfishes. Others place rockfish together with scorpionfish in the
single family Scorpaenidae.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Black to blue-black mottled with gray. Some individuals have lighter patches on back and a gray lateral stripe from head to tail. It is originally all-black, but turns a mottled gray on the sides with age, often nearing white. Lacks the dark head bands of the blue rockfish; also has more gray, a smaller mouth, and a longer jaw than the blue.

Length up to 64 cm (25 in)

 

DISTRIBUTION: West Coast of North America (Eastern Pacific: Amchitka Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska to Paradise Cove, Baja California, Mexico) where populations are stable.

Found down to a depth of 366 m.

DIET IN THE WILD: Fishes

REPRODUCTION: Sebastes sp. rockfish are slow-growing and extremely long-lived with black rockfish becoming sexually mature only after 6 to 8 years of age (max. reported age: 50 years). They have an elaborate courtship display followed by copulation and transfer of sperm via a modified urogenital papilla on the male. 
The females store sperm in the ovaries for several months until ovulation then fertilization of the eggs. They are viviparous. The larvae mature in shallow water. Reference: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10641-006-9170-9#page-1

LONGEVITY: up to 36 years

CONSERVATION: IUCN; Not evaluated

 

References

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608333101710/

Pacific Coast Fishes Eschmeyer and Herald 1983 Easton Press page 143

California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, California Rocky Coast 2017 

fishbase http://www.fishbase.org/summary/3979

Probably More Than You Want To Know About The Fishes Of The Pacific Coast, Milton Love 1996 Really Big Press pages 171-173

eol eol.org/pages/209605/hierarchy_entries/27948249/details#m…

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-CP

 

TAXONOMY
Phylum: Echinodermata
Class: Echinoidea
Order: Echinoida
Family: Strongylocentrotidae

Genus/species: Strongylocentrotus purpuratus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTIC: Round body with radially symmetrical test, (shell), covered with large spines 0.5 cm (2 in) in diameter, rarely to 10 cm (4 in). Test and spines are pale green (young) to purple (adults). Also covering the test or shell, are tube feet and pedicellariae (pincers). The long
suckered tube feet visible above the spines are used for locomotion and capture of food, which is then passed along to the mouth. The oral side of the urchin, on which the mouth is located, faces the substrate (down). Sexes are not physically distinguishable from one another (monomorphic).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: British Columbia to Baja California in the lower intertidal to 160 m (525 ft) depth. Rounded burrows in rock that have been scoured out by the present or previous urchin using its teeth (Aristotle’s lantern) and spines, a strategy that protects from predators and surge.  Subtidal purple urchins live, often in large numbers, on the substrate among kelp holdfasts.

 

DIET IN THE WILD: Herbivore/Detritivore. Uses calcite (CaCO3) teeth (Aristotle’s lantern) to feed on kelp, other algae, diatoms and scavenge on dead animals. These urchins prefer the giant brown kelp Macrocystis and can destroy entire forests of kelp which are commercially important for fisheries. Algin a product from kelp is also used in the manufacturing of plastics, paints and as a thickening agent in foods such as gravy and pudding.


REPRODUCTION: Sexually mature during their second year. Sexes are separate, although hermaphrodites occur. Broadcast spawning deposits sperm or eggs into the sea where random fertilization occurs. Pluteus larvae hatch, drift and settle. Growth after metamorphosis is slow.

PREDATORS: Preyed upon by seastars such as the sunflower star and cancer crab species as well as fish such as the California sheepshead, shorebirds and sea otters. Sheephead blow over sea urchins and nibble at the oral side where the spines are shortest. When approached by most sea stars, the urchin allows the potential predator to get close, then uses its pincers to attack the sea star’s tube feet. Most sea star species will beat a hasty retreat; however, the sunflower star is too big and fast; the urchin cannot escape and is swallowed whole! Average lifespan 20 years but can live to more than 30 years.

CONSERVATION: CITES; no special status

REMARKS: Purple pigments from this urchin lodge in the bones and teeth of sea otters, turning the otter’s skeleton and teeth purple.

In the wild, they protect themselves from predation, drying out, and damage from the sun’s UV light by covering themselves with seaweed or shells.

Sea urchin is commonly used in sushi and is considered a delicacy Japan. The primary urchin harvesting company in California sends 75% of the harvest to Japan.

LOCATION

RockyReefcluster, Abalone and urchins, Rocky Coast Main Exhibit, Tidepool

References

California Academy of Sciences Docent Water is Life Guide 2015

eol  http://eol.org/pages/598175/details

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608501343477/

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

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