Semicossyphus pulcher (Ayres, 1854)
California sheephead
Semicossyphus pulcher
photo by Gotshall, D.W.

Family:  Labridae (Wrasses)
Max. size:  91 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 16 kg; max. reported age: 53 years
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 0 - 55 m
Distribution:  Eastern Pacific: Monterey Bay in California, USA to Guadalupe Island (off northern central Baja California) and Gulf of California.
Biology:  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.
IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable(A2bd) (Ref. 115185) , IUCN Grouper and Wrasse Specialist Group
Threat to humans:  traumatogenic
Country info:   

Entered by: Froese, Rainer - 01.05.91
Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 27.09.06
Checked by: Garilao, Cristina V. - 07.07.95

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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