Monday, February 11, 2013

Quillback Rockfish

Sebastes maliger
There are over 120 different species within the Sebastidae family, including the Quillback Rockfish. These spiny saltwater fish live along the Pacific coast of North America, hanging out near rocks and reefs where they are best camouflaged. They are rarely found in open water. These fish feed during the day, living on a diet of Crustaceans and small fish.

Quillback Rockfish are solitary, though they are not territorial. Individuals can be found near each other, coexisting in the same reef area without incident. They do come together during spawning, which takes place from March to July. Interestingly, they are an ovoviviparous species. It can take several years for the Quillback Rockfish to mature, and they can live longer than 30 years.

This particular fish gets its name from the long, venomous quills that grow from its back. These quills keep the Rockfish safe from predators. The toxin isn't deadly the humans, but can still cause pain.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Pacific Ocean
Size : Length up to 24in (61cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Actinopterygii -- Order : Scorpaeniformes
Family : Sebastidae -- Genus : Sebastes -- Species : S. maliger
Image Attribution : NOAA

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