| Common names: sheephead (English), wrasse (English), vieja (Espanol), pejeperro (Espanol) |
Semicossyphus darwini (Jenyns, 1842)
Pacific red sheephead, Galapagos sheephead
Body robust; head bluntly pointed; 2 pairs of enlarged, curved canines at front of each jaw; rear of upper jaw with moderately enlarged canine on each side; dorsal fin with XII spines, 10 rays; anal rays III, 11 or 12; pectoral rays 18; lateral line complete, smoothly arched; scales relatively small, 53-56 on lateral line, those on head reaching only to rear of eyes.
IP: red with white chin; a large yellow patch just behind head and black spot at front of dorsal fin; TP: bluish grey; chin white; a large yellow patch behind head.
Maximum size to about 70 cm.
Habitat: found along rocky shores of the cooler southern and western regions of the Galapagos.
Depth: 3-100 m.
Ecuador to northern Chile, and Galapagos Islands.
Global Endemism: All species, East Pacific endemic, TEP non-endemic
Regional Endemism: All species, Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic, Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily, Peruvian province, primarily, Continent + Island (s), Continent, Island (s)
Climate Zone: Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo), South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
Habitat and Ecology
Inshore/Offshore: Inshore, Inshore Only
Water Column Position: Bottom, Bottom only
Habitat: Reef (rock &/or coral), Reef only, Rocks, Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat: Reef Associated
From 3 to 100 meters.
Diet: mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs), mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves, sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins, sessile crustacea, sessile molluscs
Life History and Behavior
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
CITES: Not listed
Given its deep-water habitat and southerly distribution, ENSO is unlikely to greatly affect the population. Population numbers declined more than 80% at sites studied in Galpagos during 1997/98 El Nio, with recovery one year later in 1999. This species presumably migrated to deep water during the El Nio event.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems