Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Sebastolobus alascanus, Shortspine thornyhead

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

D XVI, 3rd spine ~4th
gill rakers 18-23
gill chamber pale
pectoral: deep rear notch

Sebastolobus alascanus Bean, 1890

Shortspine 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 18-23; a single dorsal fin, strongly notched at the rear of the spiny part, XVI (XV-XVII) strong, venomous spines, 3rd spine shorter than 4th, 9-10 (8-11) soft rays; anal fin III, 2nd spine longer than 3rd, 5 (4-6); pectoral fin 20-23, with strong notch in rear border; pelvics I, 5, under pectorals; tail fin edge straight; lateral line with 29-36 pored scales; scales small, rough.

Adults with orange to orange-red bodies, often with dark dots; throat white, white blotches on cheeks, body and spiny dorsal fin, especially spine tips; gill chamber pale; a dark blotch on rear of spiny dorsal fin.Young with more black on fins.

Reach 89 cm.

Live on soft bottoms.

Depth range: 17-1600 m.

Range from Japan to central Pacific Baja; vagrants to Costa Rica.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • In & Offshore
  • Offshore
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Data
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
  • TEP non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • California province, primarily
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Endangered
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 89
Depth Range Min
  • 17
Depth Range Max
  • 1600