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California Sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher)

The California Sheephead or Semicossyphus pulcher is just one of the over 600 different species of Wrasse. This saltwater fish is found in the eastern Pacific Ocean, often in kelp forests or around rocky reefs. The male California Sheephead is black, with a white jaw and red body.  The female is pink in coloration. Juveniles are bright red with a white stripe down its body, and a black spot on the caudal fin. All California Sheepheads start out their lives as females, but then some change to males when they are about half grown. As you can imagine with their great variation in color between the sexes this is quite the transformation to be seen.
These fish can reach lengths of 36" (92cm) and weigh in at 35lbs (16kg). California Sheephead feed on sea urchins, molluscs, lobsters, and crabs. As you can see in the picture below these fish have an impressive set of chompers which allows them to eat such hard shelled crustaceans. 
You can check out the California Sheephead in action along with a bunch of other species in the video below.


If you have any additional information about the California Sheephead please leave us a comment below.




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