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Species: Sebastolobus altivelis, Longspine thornyhead

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D XV, 3rd spine v long
gill chamber black
pectoral: shallow rear notch

Sebastolobus altivelis Gilbert, 1896

Longspine thornyhead

Body moderately compressed, elongate; head relatively large & spiny, pointed; eyes large, on top of head, close-set, concave between them; head spines strongly developed, 8 pairs along top of head;  longitudinal ridge under eye with 8-10 strong spines; numerous small conical teeth on jaws; gill rakers 21-26; a single dorsal fin, strongly notched at the rear of the spiny part, XV (XV-XVII) strong, venomous spines, 3rd spine much longer than 4th, 8-9 (8-10) soft rays; anal fin III, 2nd spine longer than 3rd, 5-6 (4-6); pectoral fin 22-24, with shallow notch in rear border; pelvics I, 5, under pectorals; tail fin edge straight; lateral line with 28-32 pored scales; scales small, rough.

Adults with orange to orange-red bodies, often with dark dots and large white blotches; gill chamber black; a dark blotch on rear of spiny dorsal fin. Young fish silvery red, with black fins.

Reach 38 cm, 0.67 kg.

Depth range: 194-1756 m.

Live on soft bottoms.

Range from Alaska to the tip of Baja.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • In & Offshore
  • Offshore
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Mud
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Rocks
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • TEP non-endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • California province, primarily
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • 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
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 38
Depth Range Min
  • 194
Depth Range Max
  • 1756