California Sheephead (Female)
- Females fully pink with white underbelly
- Females smaller than males
- Can grow to be 3 feet long and weigh 35 pounds
- Protruding teeth used to prey on hard-shelled organisms
- Point Conception, California to Guadalupe Island, Baja California, Mexico
- Gulf of California, Mexico
- Rocky reefs
- Kelp forests
- Depths of 10-100 feet
- Sea urchins, bivalves, barnacles, and bryozoans (microscopic aquatic invertebrates)
- Harbor seals and sea lions
- California sheephead are born female but often become male later in life!
- They can live to be 53 years old, very old for a fish.
- At night, they hide in crevices and wrap themselves in a mucus cocoon to hide their scent from predators.
- Sheepshead often get a parasitic flatworm, but the mutualistic senorita fish will clean it off of their skin and gills.
Sources: California Sea Grant
Photo: Howard Hall
Try to spot a live Sheephead on Birch Aquarium’s Kelp Cam!