California Sheephead 7680989698 O
22Identifcation number on The Map®

California Sheephead

Semicossyphus pulcher

California SheepheadBrian McHugh ~


  • Over 12-14 inches in length
  • Canine teeth protrude from the front of the mouth
  • White chin
  • Red to orange or pink mid-body
  • Dark head and rear body (Terminal Phase)


  • They range from Monterey Bay to the Gulf of California in the Pacific


  • Inhabit rocky bottoms, especially kelp beds
  • Generally solitary, slow moving swimmers


  • They feed chiefly on the bottom on mollusks, urchins, crabs, and lobsters

Interesting Facts

  • All California Sheepheads are female until they are seven or eight years old when they morph into males, which they remain for the rest of their fifty-year life span