Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Semicossyphus darwini, Galapagos sheephead, Pacific red sheephead

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

TP blue-grey to black; IP red
yellow patch over pectoral
chin white

Semicossyphus darwini (Jenyns, 1842)

Pacific red sheephead, Galapagos sheephead

Body robust; head bluntly pointed; large males develop hump on forehead and expanded chin;  2 pairs of enlarged, curved canines at front of each jaw; rear of upper jaw with moderately enlarged canine on each side; dorsal fin with XII spines, 10 rays; anal rays III, 11 or 12; pectoral rays 18; lateral line complete, smoothly arched; scales relatively small, 53-56 on lateral line, those on head reaching only to rear of eyes.

IP: red with white chin; may have a faint yellow patch just behind head and black spot at front of dorsal fin; TP: bluish grey to blackish; chin white; a large yellow to orange patch on flank behind head.

Maximum size to about 70 cm.

Habitat: found along rocky shores of the cooler southern and western regions of the Galapagos.

Depth: 3-100 m.

Peru to northern Chile, and Galapagos Islands.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Sessile molluscs
  • Sessile crustacea
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • TEP non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • All species
  • Continent
  • Peruvian province, primarily
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Data deficient
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 70
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 100