Introducing our August 2021 Fish of the Month, the Crescent Gunnel (Pholis laeta)!

Survey Regions: Crescent Gunnels are found from the Aleutian Islands of Alaska to northern California. This area is part of REEF's California, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska (PAC) region. Click here to view a database report for the species.

Size: They can reach up to about 10 inches in length.

Identifying Features: Crescent Gunnels are shades of yellow-green to orange-brown with a row of pale bars or spots along the midbody. They are distinguished by a series of pale, crescent-shaped blotches with black outlines running along the upper back and base of their dorsal fin. They also have a dark bar below each eye.

Fun Facts: Like other members of the Gunnel family, Crescent Gunnels have an elongated body. They shelter under rocks and in beds of eelgrass and algae, and can be found living under jetties, and inside jars, cans, tires or other debris. Crescent Gunnels frequently inhabit intertidal areas, where they may remain out of water under rocks and seaweed. They are even able to breathe air when they are out of water! 

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for our next Fish of the Month.

[Photo by Janna Nichols]