Giant Sea Bass (Juvenile)
- Juvenile giant sea bass coloring is radically different than adults
- Juveniles often mistaken for different fish, as they resemble perch
- Bright red or orange body with white and dark patches on the sides
- Black spots all over, and dark pectoral fins
- Humboldt Bay, California to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California
- Throughout the Gulf of California
- Rare, but occasionally, north of Point Conception, California
- Juveniles live in sandy flat areas close to the heads of submarine canyons, then transition to rocky reefs, and eventually kelp forests as they mature
- Mysid shrimp that live above sandy flats
- Giant sea bass are the largest resident bony fishes in California.
- They are long-lived, capable of living 72-75 years, and do not reproduce for the first time until 13-15 years of age.
- They can temporarily flash (change) the brightness of the color of their skin or spots.
- Juvenile giant sea bass have been documented displaying cryptic behavior where they float near sand ripples and pretend to be stray kelp.
Sources: spottinggiantseabass.msi.ucsb.edu; California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Kayla Blincow, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Photo: Herb Gruenhagen