Harman Patil (Editor)

Gopher rockfish

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Kingdom  Animalia
Genus  Sebastes
Phylum  Chordata
Rank  Species
Family  Sebastidae
Scientific name  Sebastes carnatus
Higher classification  Rockfish
Order  Scorpaeniformes
Gopher rockfish wwwmontereyfishcommediaimagesdesktopindseafo
Similar  Rockfish, Sebastes chrysomelas, Blue rockfish, Sebastes atrovirens, China rockfish

Gopher rockfish

The gopher rockfish (Sebastes carnatus) (also known as the Gopher Seaperch) is a rockfish of the Pacific coast, primarily off California.


Gopher rockfish have a generally mottled appearance, with dark areas generally olive to reddish brown, and the lighter areas being white or maybe pinkish. The upper part of the back almost always has three light patches extending into the dorsal fins, and the lighter areas become more extensive ventrally. They range in size up to about 40 cm.

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They are known from as far north as Cape Blanco in Oregon, down to Punta San Roque in southern Baja California. They can be found in the intertidal zone, but most occur at depths of 12–80 metres, living in crevices and holes during the day, and ranging further abroad at night to feed on benthic crustacea, cephalopods, and some types of fishes. They are territorial, claiming an area of 10–12 square metres.

Gopher rockfish Gopher rockfish Wikipedia

Gophers are extremely closely related to the black-and-yellow rockfish S. chrysomelas; S. chrysomelas is darker brown with yellow patches, and tends to prefer shallower water. While it was once thought that the black-and-yellow and gopher rockfish were merely color morphs of the same species, detailed genomic studies using microsatellite analysis have recently shown, however, that there is a significant amount of genetic difference between the two at loci that code for more than just coloration. This implies that they are indeed distinct, albeit closely related species, making them ideal specimens for studying sympatric evolution.

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Gopher rockfish Wikipedia

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