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Species: Paralabrax clathratus, Kelp bass

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

forehead: yellow spots
side head - 3 bars
back: 2 rows rectangular white blotches
D spines: 3rd & 4th = twice 2nd

Paralabrax clathratus (Girard, 1854)

Kelp bass

Body moderately deep, compressed; head pointed; snout profile nearly straight; lower jaw projects to join snout profile; mouth extends to under middle of pupil; between eyes relatively narrow (~ 15% of head length in adults), with scales; mouth large; rear of top jaw exposed when mouth closed, without accessory bone above it; teeth fixed;  roof of mouth with teeth on sides and center; lower gill rakers 21-24; preopercle finely serrated; dorsal X, 13-14, 3rd  & 4th  spines equally long, not more than 2x length of 2nd, margin of soft fin angular; anal rays III, 7,7, spines short, 3rd  largest; pectoral rounded, 14-15 rays; pelvics inserted under or slightly behind pectoral base; tail with straight to undulating edge, 13-15 branched rays; scales small, rough; lateral line scales 62-68; rear of top jawbone without scales.

Upper head olive-green to brown with irregular pale yellow spots; dark bars along edge of preopercle, and obliquely down center and rear edge of opercle; upper body mottled with black, white and olive-green, with ~ 2 rows of rectangular white blotches in a dark netting pattern; lower head and body cream, with small black spots on lower body; fins olive with yellowish tint; male with chin and lower jaw orangish.

Size: 72 cm; 6.6 kg, 34 years old.

Habitat: macroalgal beds.

Depth: 0-61 m.

California to the tip of Baja.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Rocks
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • Zooplankton
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • TEP non-endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Continent
  • California province, primarily
  • Continent only
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 72
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 58