Saturday, September 11, 2010
September 11, 2010 : Cabezone
The Cabezone or Cabezon, Scorpaenichthys marmoratus, is a sculpin native to the Pacific coast of North America. Although the genus name translates literally as "scorpion fish," true scorpionfish, i.e., the lionfish and rockfish, belong to the related family Scorpaenidae.
The cabezon is a scaleless fish with a broad bony support extending from the eye across the cheek just under the skin. Normally it has 11 spines on the dorsal fin. The cabezon also has a stout spine before the eye, an anal fin of soft rays, and a fleshy flap on the middle of the snout. A pair of longer flaps are just behind the eyes. The mouth is broad with many small teeth. The coloring varies, but is generally mottled with browns, greens and reds. >90% of red fish are males, whereas >90% of green fish are females It reaches a weight of up to 25 pounds. As the Spanish-origin name implies, the fish has a very large head relative to its body.
Cabezon are found from northern British Columbia to southern California. They frequent kelp beds from shallow to moderate depths.