SizeMaximum length of 28.3 inches (72 cm)
DietPlankton, fish and cephalopods
RangeEastern Pacific from Washington state to Baja, California
- Coloration is brownish olive, with a random pattern of yellow spots on the head, two distinctive rows of white blotches on the upper back and calico spotting on the belly. Fins are yellow-toned in coloration and males adopt an orange chin during mating season.
- Largest recorded kelp bass was 28.3 inches (72 cm).
- Juvenile is light brown in color and usually lacks the characteristic markings of mature kelp bass.
- Diet varies depending on age, though both juvenile and adults feed on plankton.
- Adults feed on fish and cephalopods.
- Juvenile feed on benthic (bottom-dwelling) invertebrates.
- Adults will often school together to prey on small fish. Each fish will pursue from a different direction, allowing the school to surround prey.
- Occurs in the Eastern Pacific, from Washington State to Baja California.
- Found in or near kelp beds in depths of up to 200 feet (61 m), but most commonly found in waters around 82 feet (25 m) in depth.
- Mainly found in kelp forests, but can also be seen congregating around shipwrecks, rocky outcrops or reefs and pilings.
- Reproduction is broadcast, wherein the male and female release gametes to fertilize in the water.
- Forms mating aggregations with as few as 3 individuals to as many as 200.
- Mature kelp bass spawn multiple times during mating seasons, sometimes spawning multiple times a day.
- Fertilized eggs drift freely through the water column for about 28-30 days, at which point kelp, acting as a sieve, filter the larvae out of the water to settle on the leaves.
- “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.
- Also known as the “rock sea bass” or the “calico bass.”