Size10 inches (25 cm)
DietZooplankton, such as copepods, crustacean eggs and larvae
RangeEastern Pacific from Monterey Bay to Central Baja California
HabitatMid-water fish that is found over structures (such as rocky reefs and oil platforms) in near shore waters, around reefs and kelp beds
- Blacksmith’s body is gray-blue or gray on the sides with black spots toward the rear.
- A male guarding the nest is very light colored – almost white – with a dark bar through each eye.
- The juvenile is blue-gray in the front of the body and brassy-orange at the rear.
- Can reach up to 10 inches (25 cm) in length.
- Adult blacksmith feeds in mid-water during the day on zooplankton, such as copepods, crustacean eggs and larvae.
- Young obtains some of its food by “cleaning,” picking parasites from other fish.
- Blacksmith occurs in the Eastern Pacific from Monterey Bay to Central Baja California, although it is most common from Point Conception southward.
- This is a very abundant mid-water fish that is found over structures (such as rocky reefs and oil platforms) in near shore waters, around reefs and kelp beds.
- Can be found at depths from near-surface to about 151 feet (46 m).
- During breeding season, the male cleans a nest site (under overhangs or in small caves in rocky reefs) and guards the eggs until they hatch.
- “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.
- Blacksmith is a major “customer” of cleaner fish, especially the females.
- During the day, large schools with hundreds of individuals can be found over most reefs.
- Adults tend to hang out at the incurrent side of the reefs, waiting for zooplankton, while the young are usually found near the bottom, close to places of refuge.
- At night, most blacksmith find shelter in crevices or on sand near the crevices. It is a gregarious species: many individuals will gather into a small cave.
- Probably More Than You Want to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast. Love, M., pgs. 278 – 279
- Pacific Coast Inshore Fishes. Gotshall, D. W., pg. 85