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Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest

Painted greenling

Painted greenling

(Oxylebius pictus)

The painted greenling is a marine fish that occurs in the eastern Pacific from Kodiak Island south to central Baja California. It is found on the bottom on or near hard substrates from very shallow water to about 160-foot depths. This species reaches lengths of four to six inches, but may grow to 10 inches. It feeds on benthic invertebrates including crustaceans, polychaete worms and small mollusks.

The painted greenling’s body is pale white with five to seven wide reddish-brown vertical bars. Some individuals are heavily sprinkled with small white spots. Its snout is pointed and there are two pair of fleshy tufts on its head near the eyes.

The painted greenling can be seen swimming in the kelp forest exhibit in the Cold Water Quest gallery.

Fun Facts

  • The painted greenling is solitary and very territorial.
  • Individuals can be found around oil platforms and discharge pipes, as well as natural hard substrates.
  • The male is more brightly colored than the female.
  • Females will lay multiple masses of eggs in nests on exposed hard surfaces. The male guards the nest.
  • This species is believed to live as long as eight years.
  • Download full fact sheet

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