Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Scorpaeniformes
(Scorpionfishes and flatheads) > Sebastidae
(Rockfishes, rockcods and thornyheads) > Sebastinae
Etymology: Sebastes: Greek, sebastes = august, venerable (Ref. 45335); variabilis: Name is presumed to be referring to the wide range of body color of the species. More on author: Pallas.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; demersal; depth range 6 - 675 m (Ref. 53613), usually 100 - 300 m (Ref. 53613). Subtropical
North Pacific: Japan, east coast of Kamchatka to Cape Ol'utorskii in western Bering Sea, along the Aleutian Islands to 60°N in the eastern Bering Sea, through the Gulf of Alaska south to Johnstone Strait, British Columbia and to central Oregon.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 36.5  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 43.1 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 53613); max. reported age: 50 years (Ref. 93327)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 13 - 14;
soft rays: 7 - 9;
Vertebrae: 28 - 29. This species is distinguished by the following characters: body light yellow to greenish brown to gray, typically greenish brown, with orange flecks present on sides, distinctly light ventrally above anal-fin base and on ventral pectoral-fin rays; peritoneum light gray to jet black; strong symphyseal knob; extrinsic swimbladder muscle with a single section of striated muscle, lacking anterior fascia, otherwise of type I (a-z) of Hallacher (1974); lateral-line pores 43-54, scales 47-63; pectoral-fin rays 16-19; anal-fin rays 7-9; dorsal-fin rays 13-16; vertebrae total 28-29 (11-12 + 16-18) (Ref. 53613).
Collection depth between 6-370 m, deepest recorded depth at 675 m. Large adults common along the edge of the continental shelf at 100-300 m where the species is targeted for commercial use. Captured in the offshore trawl fishery. Males and females captured by trawl surveys vary widely in maturity during the summer (May-July) (Ref. 53613).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Orr, J.W. and J.E. Blackburn, 2004. The dusky rockfishes (Teleostei: Scorpaeniformes) of the North Pacific Ocean: resurrection of Sebastes variabilis (Pallas, 1814) and a redescription of Sebastes ciliatus (Tilesius, 1813). Fish. Bull. 102:328-348. (Ref. 53613)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 0.5 - 6.2, mean 3.2 (based on 368 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01023 (0.00604 - 0.01735), b=3.06 (2.91 - 3.21), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.8 ±0.6 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (K=0.2; tm=9.2; tmax=50).
Prior r = 0.20, 95% CL = 0.13 - 0.30, Based on 1 stock assessment.
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (45 of 100) .