Scorpaenichthys marmoratus

Cabezon have a large, broad head with a elongated body (2). They can reach up to lengths of almost a meter and weigh close to 7 kg (2). Their bodies are scaleless are can be found in a wide variety of colors, from black to red and even tan, most with a mottled pattern (3). Cabezon also have large pectoral fins (2). They have a polygynous mating system, with females mating multiple times per year usually between November and March for California (1). Like their adult forms, Cabezon eggs come in a variety of colors and are guarded by males (1). Cabezon are demersal, residing near the bottom of coastal waters (3).


(1) Lauth, R. R. (1987). Spawning Ecology and Nesting Behavior of the Cabezon, Scorpaenichthys marmoratus (Ayres), in Puget Sound, Washington (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Washington.

(2) Limbaugh, C., Turner, C. H., & Feder, H. M. (1974). Observations on Fishes Associated With Kelp Beds in Southern California (United States of America, Department of Fish and Game).

(3) O'Connell, C. P. (1953). Life History of the Cabezon Scorpaenichthys Marmoratus (Ayres) (Fish Bulletin 93, pp. 1-79) (United States of America, Department of Fish and Game, Marine Fisheries Branch). Sacramento, CA: Dept. of Fish and Game.

(Photograph) Lovell and Libby Langstroth © California Academy of Sciences


  • rocky intertidal