Opaleye 7681188114 O
28Identifcation number on The Map®


Girella nigricans

OpaleyeKevin Lee ~ diverkevin.com


  • One to three whites spots on back. Bright blue to blue-green eyes
  • Rounded, football-shaped profile
  • Olive-green, often shaded with blue or gray; frequently white area on snout


  • Common southern California; occasional to uncommon north to Oregon


  • Inhabit shallow rocky reefs and kelp beds; occasionally in tide pools
  • Solitary or in small groups
  • Generally near the bottom; most common between 5-6 feet


  • Opaleyes eat kelp and other algae
  • They trap the plant in their mouths and twist their bodies from side to side until a mouthful breaks off
  • This leaves a characteristic hole in the blade
  • They occasionally eat invertebrates found in the kelp forest

Interesting Facts

  • Reach 26 inches, oviparous
  • Spawn in April-June, shedding eggs into the water column
  • Young ones enter tide-pools
  • Eats algae