Giant Kelpfish 7688849874 O
38Identifcation number on The Map®

Giant Kelpfish

Heterostichus rostratus

Giant KelpfishKevin Lee ~


  • Color and markings vary greatly, including shades of yellow, yellow-green, green, green-brown, red-brown, brown and lavender; can be unmarked, blotched, spotted or barred
  • Rapidly change color and markings to camouflage with background
  • Elongated head with pointed, slightly upturned, snout
  • Forked tail


  • Common southern California; occasional, but becoming more rare to British Columbia


  • Inhabit kelp beds and areas of luxuriant leafy algae growth
  • Nestle in blades, blending almost perfectly with background


  • Hide among the kelp plants and ambush their prey
  • Feed on small fish, crustaceans and molluscs

Interesting Facts

  • Shy; quickly move away when obviously observed; tries to rely on camouflage and attempts to remain hidden in kelp blades