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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • California Kelp Forest Habitat (Cold Water Quest)

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Eastern Pacific from Kodiak Island south to Point San Carlos in central Baja California.
  • Found dwelling alone near hard bottoms from intertidal zone to depths of about 160 feet (49 m).
  • Usually associated with rocks, but also found on oil platforms and sewage outfall pipes.
  • Commonly encountered hovering motionless over rocks and divers.

Physical Characteristics

  • Body has a pale whitish background color with five to seven wide red or reddish-brown vertical bars. 
  • An individual can be heavily sprinkled with tiny white spots.
  • Adult male is more brightly colored than the female, particularly during spawning season.
  • Male will often turn nearly black during winter mating season.
  • Generally 4-6 inches (10.1-15.2 cm) long with a maximum size of about 10 inches (25.4 cm).
  • Pointed snout with two pair of fleshy tufts, called cirri, on its head, above each eye and another between eyes and dorsal fin.

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists of bottom-dwelling invertebrates such as crustaceans, polychaetes, small mollusks and bryozoans.

Reproduction / Growth

  • Can live up to 8 years, the female living longer. Female also grows larger than male.
  • Female lays egg masses in nests on exposed rock surfaces guarded by the male. A male may guard numerous egg masses in the same nest.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Adult is territorial and seems to stay in the same area for years.
  • Inactive and shelters in holes during the coldest and stormiest months. Also inactive at night.

Sources

www.fishbase.net
elib.cs.berkeley.edu/kopec/tr9/html/sp-painted-greenling.html
classicscuba.com/Plants_&_Animals/Oxylebius_pictus/index.htm

Probably More Than You Want to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast. Love,   M., pgs. 204 - 205