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Species: Sebastes exsul, Buccaneer rockfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

back - green lines + 6 pale spots
spine over center eye
lower edge eye - no spines
gill rakers 31-37
inside mouth & gill chamber pale
pectoral 17

Sebastes exsul Chen, 1971

Buccaneer rockfish

Body compressed, oval; head relatively large, compressed, bluntly pointed; eye moderately large; between eyes narrow, with 3 grooves; head spines not well developed; top of head with 7-8 pairs of spines, including over center of eye; bone at lower edge of eye without spines; lower edge of bone below eye & above front side of mouth with 2 down-pointing spines; no spiny longitudinal ridge under eye; numerous small conical teeth on jaws; teeth present on roof of mouth; gill rakers 31-37; a single dorsal fin, usually strongly notched at the rear of the spiny part, XIII (rarely XIV) strong, venomous spines, 4th-5th spines longest,12 (12-13) soft rays; anal fin III, spines long, strong,  2nd spine longest, 6 (5-6), rear profile of fin almost vertical; pelvics I, 5, under pectorals; pectorals large, 17 (16-18); tail fin slightly concave; lateral line with 34-43 pored scales, last one on base of tail fin; scales small, primarily rough.

Adults pink, to yellow  to light orange; green wiggly lines on body above lateral line and on base of dorsal fin; fins pink and yellow; 6 whitish, pink-ringed blotches along upper side; inside mouth and gill chamber pale.

Reaches 31 cm; 24 years.

Lives on rocky bottoms.

Depth range: 110-200 m.

The central Gulf of California.   

Note: We have not included S peduncularis and S varispinnis, both of which are known only from a very few juveniles, and could be synonyms of S cortezi and S diploproa, respectively.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Rocks
  • Reef only
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Bony fishes
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Live birth
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Cortez province endemic
  • Continent only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 31
Depth Range Min
  • 110
Depth Range Max
  • 200