China rockfish, Sebastes nebulosus
A young China rockfish (Sebastes nebulosus) nestles between a colony of
California hydrocoral (Stylaster californicus) and an unidentified red
sponge. One could say that this picture was actually several months in the
making. I had my eye on this sponge and hydrocoral colony for quite some time.
It's a striking background, but doesn't appear to be a particularly popular
hangout for interesting foreground subjects. Eventually, one day sunny July day
with pedestrian water clarity I ran across this cute little China. It should
have been a fantastic opportunity, but the heavy surge and the animal's
exceptionally skittish disposition made things difficult. The hole this guy was
using as refuge provided excellent protection from the glaring strobes of
inquisitive photographers, however it lacked a hideaway small enough to keep out
a lingcod or other predator. This might explain why I've not run across this
fish since my initial encounter. Interestingly enough, little is known about the
habits of juvenile China rockfish. In fact, there seems to even be some debate
about what very young ones even look like!
"East Pinnacles", Carmel Bay, California
July 16, 2005
Though usually quite bashful, China rockfish (Sebastes nebulosus) may
occasionally be lured out into the open if one is careful to keep ones distance
and avoid any movement that could be construed as threatening. It took four
dives over two days to get this fish to come out from its crevice. This animal's
odd name derives from their popularity as a food fish among asians.
"Arena Rock", North Coast, California
June 4, 2006
A young China rockfish (Sebastes nebulosus) hides in sponge surrounded by
club-tipped anemones (Corynactus californica) and a jewel top snail
"Forgotten Pinnacle", Carmel Bay, California
December 4, 2004
Gohper (Sebastes carnatus) and China (Sebastes nebulosus) rockfish
resting in a colorful crevice.
"Little Sur Pinnacle", Big Sur, California
June 25, 2005