California Moray

Gymnothorax mordax

California Morays have a friendly toothy smile and can be found at the Center watching people walk by. California Morays can be seen from Point Conception to Southern Baja California. Morays have a second set of jaws called pharyngeal jaws that can snatch their prey further into their mouths for swallowing.


Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker Eumicrotremus orbis

Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker

Eumicrotremus orbis

Oval bodies are covered in cone-shaped protuberances and a sucking disc on the bottom of their bodies. They can be found from Japan to Puget Sound. Larger Lumpsuckers can be found in deeper water with smaller fish found in the shallow.

Kelp Bass Paralabrax clathratus

Kelp Bass

Paralabrax clathratus

Also known as calico bass, this species can be found from Washington to Southern Baja California. Kelp bass can be brown, gray-brown, green, or olive on their backs and sides, alternating with pale coloration. Kelp bass can change their colors and patterns in the blink of an eye.


Cabezon Scorpaenichthys marmoratus


Scorpaenichthys marmoratus

Notice the large frog-like head of the cabezon. This species does not have a swim bladder, so they lay and wait on the seafloor. They can feed on crustaceans, fish, and mollusks. They can be found from Alaska to Baja California.

Treefish Sebastes serriceps


Sebastes serriceps

Tree fish has 5-6 vertical bars on its body, and adults can have pink, orange, or red lips. Found from San Francisco to Baja California.



Swell Shark 

Cephaloscyllium ventriosum

Spotted pattern along its body. Found from California to southern Mexico. When threatened, swell sharks will gulp in a large amount of water to swell up.


Curlfin Sole

Pleuronichthys decurrens

Curlfin Sole can be found in the Gulf of Alaska to southern Baja California. They can live up to ten years old. All flatfishes started their lives looking like small normal-looking fish. However, before they settle on the bottom, one of the eyes will migrate to one side of the body.



Sebastes Sp.

Sebastes means “magnificent” in Greek.

Big, old, fat, fertile (or fecund) female fish, or BOFFFF, is a term of respect among scientists. Larger and older females will produce more young than younger fish.

The names rockfish and rock cod have been used since the 1850s by San Francisco fishermen.

Gopher rockfish Sebastes carnatus
Gopher rockfish have patchily olive-brown to reddish-brown alternate with white or pink. These fish range from Oregon to Baja California. Gopher rockfish can live up to 24 years.

Black-and-Yellow rockfish Sebastes chrysomelas
Black-and-Yellow rockfish have alternating patches of olive or black alternating with yellow. Oregon to Central Baja California. B&Y’s grow larger off of Central California than Southern California. 30 years old.

Blue rockfish Sebastes mystinus
Blue rockfish have blue blotches and blue sides all along the body. Found from southeastern Alaska to northern Baja California. 44 years old.


Decorator Crab

Imagine having your home with you wherever you go, that is what the Decorator Crab do. These crabs take their algae and sometimes other animals from the environment and attach them to their backs. These walking home decorators can be found from Northern California to Baja California.


Bat Star

Patiria miniata

Bat star coloration can range from red, orange, pink, yellow, purple, green, brown, or a combination of those colors. Bat stars have webbing in between their arms having a bat-like appearance.  You can find Bat stars up and down the west coast of the U.S. from Alaska to Baja California. Check them out in our touch pools.