IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

Comprehensive Description

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  Common names: sheephead (English), vieja (Espanol)
Semicossyphus pulcher (Ayres, 1854)

California sheephead

Body robust; head bluntly pointed, large adults  develop hump on forehead; 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, 12; pectoral rays 17-19; lateral line complete, smoothly arched; scales relatively small, 52-57 on lateral line, those on head reaching only to rear of eyes.

IP:  brownish red to rose with white chin; TP:  blackish head and white chin, pink to dusky red midsection and blackish rear portion of body; juveniles  reddish orange with whitish midlateral stripe and large black spots on dorsal, anal and pelvic fins, and on caudal fin base.

Size: attains 91 cm.

Inhabits kelp beds and rocky shores.

Depth: 1-90 m.

Monterey, California to Baja and the western and central eastern Gulf of California.



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© Shorefishes of the tropical eastern Pacific online information system. www.stri.org/sftep

Source: Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Online Information System

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