Deck the halls for our December Fish of the Month, the Treefish, Sebastes serriceps!

Survey Regions: Treefish are found in the northeast Pacific Ocean, from northern California to Baja California, Mexico. They are most common in the California (CAL/PAC) REEF survey region, although they can be found in the northern end of the Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) region as well. You can view sightings reports for this species here: PAC region and here: TEP region. In addition, click here to see a sightings report for young of the year (aka YOY, meaning less than one year of age) Treefish.

Size: They grow to about 16 inches long. 

Identifying Features: Treefish have a yellow body with five to six dark bars, and bright pink, red, or orange lips. Juvenile Treefish are bright yellow with black bars and markings and large, fluttery fins with white or blue margins.

Fun Facts: Treefish are rockfish, which are members of the scorpionfish family. Like other scorpionfish species, they have venomous spines. The species name, serriceps, means “saw head” in Latin, because the spines on their head resemble a saw. Treefish are most active in the evening, and can be found in crevices, caverns, or hiding among rocks.

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

Photo by Janna Nichols.