Scorpaenichthyes marmoratus: Cabezon–The Race Rocks Taxonomy

Scorpaenichthyes marmoratus

cabezonCabezon are normally benthic or bottom-dwellers, living among rocks and seaweeds in tide pools. Sometimes they live just below the water’s surface among the marine plants. Their coloration allows them to remain well camouflaged. Their habitat is most likely rocky, sandy and muddy bottoms, living in areas with a depth range of 0 to 200 meters. Moreover, young cabezon feed on small crustaceans like amphipods, shrimp, and crabs. The adults feed on crustaceans, marine worms and mollusks, including clams and abalone. They can swallow a whole abalone and later regurgitate the indigestible shell; therefore, their tropic level is that of a secondary carnivore. In addition, the limiting factors that will affect the development and growth of this population in a certain habitat will be the presence of enough light, temperature and the availability of food and living space.

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Sub-phylum Vertebrata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Scorpaeniformes
Family Cottidae
Genus Scorpaenichthyes
Species marmoratus
Common Name: Cabezon, Scorpion Fish

The cabezon ( literally big head in Spanish ) is a benthic fish that lives among the kelp holdfasts and rocky areas, usually very close to the bottom. It is often so confident of its camouflage that it will not move when approached by divers. Note the multi colored eye. These fish will lunge at almost anything that moves on the bottom. Dissections of their stomachs reveal amphipods and small crabs, pieces of kelp (and even rocks they have grabbed when foraging for other invertebrates.)

Their maximum length and weight are 99.0 centimeters and 14.0 Kilograms respectively. This organism can be seen in the Eastern Pacific, which covers the areas from Southeastern Alaska to Punta Abrejos, in Central Baja California, Mexico. Race Rocks is located in the centre of this range. In this map we can see the range of this fish.

mapReference The National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) BioBot
http://www.elasmodiver.com/BCMarinelife/BCML%20Chordata.htm

 

http://www.racerocks.ca/category/species/class-actinopterygii/
Other Members of the Class Actinopterygii at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.

 

October,2009 : Original text by Diomedes Saldana Greco

Family Myctophidae: Lantern Fish–The Race Rocks Taxonomy

lanternfish

Lanternfish Photo by Anne Stewart

Anne found this specimen washed up in the intertidal In April, 2016.

Its not surprizing that we don’t have a name for it as can be noted in this quote from the website ” Sea and Sky presents The Sea”,

“There are over two hundred different species of lanternfishes in the deep sea. In fact, they are thought to be some the most common deep ocean creatures. Sampling by deep sea trawling indicates that lanternfish make up as much as 65% of the deep sea biomass. They are among the most most widely distributed and diverse of all vertebrate species and it is believed that they play an important role as prey for larger organisms.”

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Superclass*: Osteichthyes
Class: Actinopterygii
Subclasses: Neopterygii
Order: Myctophiformes
Family: Myctophidae (T. N. Gill, 1893)
Genus: ?
Species: ?

Other Members of the Class Actinopterygii at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.

Anne Stewart, Ecoguardian, April 2016

 

Oligocottus maculosus: Tidepool Sculpin–The Race Rocks taxonomy

rmsculpinn

Sculpin image by Ryan Murphy

Sculpin have ability to blend in with their surroundings which is useful in escaping from enemies and in capturing their prey by ambush. The body is elongate, its depth about 10cm. Head somewhat depressed, its length about 6cm. The snout is blunt in profile and It is moderate in size, the upper jaw extending to mid-pupil.
The species is very abundant in tide pools around rocky the rocky shores of Race Rocks. Tide pool sculpins show a definite tendency to return to their home pool if moved. These are very abundant in the tidepools on the north east corner of Great Race Rock. A piece of edible tissue dropped into a pool usually causes a feeding frenzy.

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrata
Class Actinopterigii
Order Scorpaeniformes
Sub Order Cottoidei
Family Cottidae
Genus Oligocottus
Species maculosus
Common Name: Tidepool Sculpinsculpinvideo

Ryan Murphy took the following  photos of Sculpins when he was stationed at Race Rocks as the Ecoguardian . He was able to dive frequently while there and developed an excellence in underwater photography. 

His photographs can be viewed on his Flickr site:

We have not been able to identify all the following yet so are including them all with the tidepool sculpin: Oligocottus maculosus

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Other Members of the Class Actinopterigii at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams. original file : Dec 2002, by  Abdul Mobin.(PC)

 

Hexagrammos decagrammus : Kelp Greenling –The Race Rocks Taxonomy

Kelp Greenling (Hexagrammas decagrammus) are one of the most abundant bottom or demersal fish in the shallow benthic community at Race Rocks.


All demersal fish such as this are protected in the  ecological reserve with the Rockfish Protection zone.
Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Scorpaeniformes
Family Hexagrammidae
Subfamily Hexagramminae
Genus Hexagrammos
Species decagrammus

COMMON NAME: greenling sea trout; speckled sea trout; tommy cod

The Kelp Greenling is one of the few fish that has 5 lateral lines on each side. Males and females are sexually dimorphic, the females being a distinct orange color, while the males are bluish in color. Females are profusely covered with orange-reddish spots. Males are brown or gray in colour with a few blue spots on the front part of their body. Each of these spots is surrounded by a ring of reddish brown. We frequently see these fish dodging in under the canopy of the brown algae Pterophyga.

male kelp greenling

The Kelp Greenling is a rocky reef fish, found on the bottom of the ocean, often in dense macroalgae.They are abundant all along the front cliff off the docks at Race Rocks.

female kelp greenling

Between Alaska and Central California, most of them live from lower intertidal waters to about 50 feet, with females tending to live in shallower water than males.

The typical Kelp Greenling is about ten inches long, but the largest in record was 21 inches.

female kelp greenling

Females grow faster than males. Some females mature at 4 years. The greenling has been aged to 12 years, but few probably live longer.

Females are oviparous and these fish are fall spawners with nesting noted in October- November off Washington and British Columbia. Females migrate down to the males, lay their blue eggs in nests which the males guard until they hatch. Feeding occurs during the day and they are inactive at night, with their preferred menu being : shrimps, crabs, worms, octopi, brittlestars, snails and small fish.

 

 

 

 

References:
Probably more than you want to know about the fishes of the Pacific Coast, Milton Love, Really Big Press, California, 1996

Coastal Fishes of the Pacific Northwest, Andy Lamb and Phil Edgell, Harbour publishing, BC, 1986

Other members of the Class Actinopterygii at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.
Dec. 2001 Jill Scherenke Dec 2001 (PC) Germany

 

Anarrhichthys ocellatus: Wolf Eel –The Race Rocks Taxonomy

Anarrhichthys ocellatus

wolfjas

This video shows Pearson College Diver Jason Reid with a wolf eel and was broadcast live in the Underwater Safari Program in October 1992

Description: Although the behaviors of the wolf eel are relatively limited at this moment, they still deem to be one of the most interesting species found in the waters. Its name originates from the greek word Anarhichas-– a fish in which the wolf eel resembles– and the latin word ocellatus which means eye-like spots. In general, Wolf-eels are easily to identify. There name suggests that they resemble eel like structures which range in colour from grey to brown or green. Starting from a young age, their coloration starts with a burnt orange spotted look graduallty changing into a dominant grey for males and brown for females. The males and females both have a dorsal fin that stretches from head to the end of their body. On average, a Wolf-eel is seen to possess a body of 2 meters long and characterized by a unique pattern of spots that appear to be individualized both in males and in females. In addition, the Wolf-eel possesses a large square head coupled with powerful jaws and canine teeth allowing for easier mastication– a beneficial adaptation to its environment of hard-shelled animals.
Classification:
Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
SuperOrder Acanthoptergygii
Order Perciformes
SubOrder Zoarcoide
Family Anarhichadidae
Genus Anarrhichthys
Species ocellatus
Common Name: Wolf-eel

Habitat and Range: Wolf-eels can most abundantly be found from the sea of Japan and the Aleutian islands continuing southwards to imperial beach, Southern California. Wolf-eels live from barely subtidal waters to 740 feet (Love, 1996). The island of Racerocks is one of the sites in the Pacific Northwest in which the Wolf-eel can be found. Exploring the island, the most common places would be near the Rosedale reef and along the cliff near the docks. The rocky reefs and stony bottom shelves at shallow and moderate depths serve to be the abodes of the Wolf-eel. They will usually stake out a territory in a crevice, den or lair in the rocks. In addition, the Wolf-eel possesses a long, slender body which allows them to squeeze into their rocky homes. During the juveniles years of the Wolf-eel, they can most commonly be found in the upper part of the water, residing there for about two years. As the Wolf-eel ages, it will slowly migrate to the ocean floor and maintain an active lifestyle. Eventually, the Wolf-eel will find a rock shelter and “vegetate” for the remainder of its lifespan.

Diet: The adaptation of the Wolf-eel’s jaw to crush hard objects, as mentioned, deems to be beneficial for eating other organisms around its environment. The gourment delicacies that the Wolf-eel feeds upon are crustaceans, sea urchins, mussels, clams, snails some other fishes.

Mating and Other Interesting Facts: In aquaria, males and females form pairs at about 4 years of age and produce eggs at 7 years old. Spawning usually occurs from October into late winter. A male will butt his head against the female’s abdomen then wrap himself around her as a sign for a mating call. It has been found that the male fertilizes the eggs as they are laid and up to 10 000 eggs can be released at a single time. The father and mother will then wrap themselves around the egg masses and will guard the eggs for about 13-16 weeks when the eggs will then hatch. Possible predators that prey on the eggs include Benthic rockfishes and kelp greenlings. This process will continue periodically and repetitively for the lifespan of a Wolf-eel as it has been found that Wolf-eel’s mate for life.

Conservation Notes: At the moment, many fishers use rockhopper trawls to fish rough, rocky sea floors. This method causes the destruction of the rocky reefs in which the Wolf-eel resides. At the current moment, scientists are calling for a halt in the use of rockhopper trawls and an alternative method of using longline traps which don’t harm the rocky reefs.

References: Love, Milton, Probably more than you want to know about the fishes of the Pacific Coast: A humorous guide to Pacific fishes, California, Really Big Press, 1996, pg. 298
Lamb, Andy and Edgell, Phil, Coastal Fishes of the Pacific Northwest, BC Canada, Harbour Publishing, 1986, pg. 94.
Other members of the  Class Actinopterygii at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.
Dec. 2001 Zaheer Kanji, (PC) Edmonton Alberta

 

Clupea pallasii: Pacific Herring–The Race Rocks Taxonomy

An interesting side note: (Don’t try this at home) we didn’t have an underwater housing at the time so the lens of the camcorder was put in a ziplock bag and aimed downward from the surface. The camera survived (just).
This video image taken off the docks in September 1998, shows Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) feeding on krill It was a calm clear day when we were visiting the islands in orientation week. As we returned to the boat we had the impression that it was raining on the North side of Great Race Rocks. The whole passage in front of the docks was alive with herring jumping as they chased Krill. The Bonaparte and Mew Gulls were feeding in the area as well. Near the docks a swarm of krill made a pinkish cloud in the water. Krill are the semi-transparent pink shrimp-like crustaceans rarely in focus as they dart through the video. An interesting side note: (Don’t try this at home) we didn’t have an underwater housing at the time so the lens of the camcorder was put in a ziplock bag and aimed downward from the surface.  The camera survived (just).
herringkrillClassification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Clupeiformes
Family: Clupeidae
Subfamily: Clupeinae
Genus: Clupea
Species: C. pallasii
Other Other fish at Race Rocks.

–Garry Fletcher

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.