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Semicossyphus pulcher  (Ayres, 1854)

California sheephead
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Semicossyphus pulcher
Picture by Gotshall, D.W.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Labridae (Wrasses)
Etymology: Semicossyphus: Greek, semi = half + Greek, kossyphos, -ou = a kind of fish (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 0 - 55 m (Ref. 9311), usually 3 - 30 m (Ref. 9311).   Subtropical; 37°N - 22°N, 123°W - 106°W

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 91.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2850); max. published weight: 16.0 kg (Ref. 2850); max. reported age: 53 years (Ref. 56049)

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Eastern Pacific: Monterey Bay in California, USA to Guadalupe Island (off northern central Baja California) and Gulf of California.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Prefer rocky bottom, particularly in kelp beds. Often feed on hard-shelled organisms such as sea urchins, mollusks, lobsters and crabs. Spawning occur during the summer and the eggs are pelagic (Ref. 9311). Live to more than 50 years of age. Each individual functions first as a female but changes to a male at a length of about 30 cm. Pelagic spawners (Ref. 56049). Flesh is white, of good quality and marketed fresh (Ref. 9311). The large teeth can cause serious bite wounds.

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

A diandric species (Ref. 55367). Transforms to a male at length of about 30.1 cm TL and 7.9 years of age (Ref. 55367). Forms leks during breeding (Ref. 55367). Pelagic spawner (Ref. 56049).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Westneat, Mark | Collaborators

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. (Ref. 2850)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Traumatogenic (Ref. 13513)




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
FAO(fisheries: production; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.6250   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.6   ±0.43 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (tmax=53; tm=5).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High vulnerability (55 of 100) .
very high
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.