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Species: Sebastes macdonaldi, Mexican Rockfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head: spines moderately strong, 7-8 pairs on top
spine under eye
bone above front mouth: 3-4 spines
dark, reddish
LL pale red
LL 50-58
gill rakers 35-42

Sebastes macdonaldi (Eigenmann & Beeson, 1893)

Mexican Rockfish

Body compressed, oval, moderately deep; head relatively large, compressed, pointed; eye moderate size; head spines moderately strong; top of head with 7-8 pairs of spines; bone below eye & above front side of mouth with 3-4 downpointing spines; no spiny longitudinal ridge under eye; a flat spine under front edge of eye; between eyes flat to convex; numerous small conical teeth on jaws; teeth present on roof of mouth; gill rakers 35-42; a single dorsal fin, usually strongly notched at the rear of the spiny part, XII-XV strong, venomous spines, 3rd-4th spines longest, 13 (12-15) soft rays; anal fin III, spines short, 2nd spine shorter than 3rd, 7-8; pelvics I, 5, under pectorals; pectorals large, 19-20 (18-20); tail fin slightly concave; lateral line with 50-58 pored scales, last one on base of tail fin; scales small, rough.

Olive brown to blackish red above, red on side; lateral line in clear red, bordered by darker color; anal and pelvic fins reddish, other fins darker.

Reaches 66 cm; 2.7 kg; 20+ years.

Lives on rocky bottoms.

Depth range 73-354 m.

Central California to southern Baja; 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
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Near Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Live birth
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • TEP non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • California province, primarily
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Continent only
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 66
Depth Range Min
  • 73
Depth Range Max
  • 354