• Size

    26 inches (66 cm)
  • Diet

    Kelp, seaweed and small invertabrates
  • Range

    Central Pacific Ocean
  • Habitat

    Rocky areas, kelp beds or tide pools

Physical Characteristics

  • Coloration is commonly olive green but can range to gray-green or brown, with one to three pale spots on the back and often a white bar across the snout.
    • Eyes are bright blue to bright green.
  • The average size is almost 26 inches (66 cm).

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet primarily consists of kelp or seaweed; also eats small invertebrates.
  • Juveniles feed almost exclusively on algae in tide pools.
  • Feeds on kelp by holding a piece of the plant in their mouth and twisting from side to side to break off a mouthful.

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Eastern Central Pacific, from Northern California to Baja, California.
  • Found in rocky areas, kelp beds or tide pools.
    • Juveniles usually live in tide pools, but upon maturation, leave for deeper waters.
  • When in open water, inhabits areas up to 98 feet (30 m) in depth.

Reproduction & Growth

  • Females and males broadcast gametes into the water to fertilize; larvae mature in the water column.
  • Juveniles usually stay in tide pools until maturation.

Conservation Status

  • “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • The opaleye can breathe air when out of water.
  • Schools in small groups, but is most commonly found hiding near rocks or kelp, from which it can ambush small prey or hide from predators.


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