Pinkrose Rockfish

Pinkrose Rockfish, Sebastes simulator

The Pinkrose Rockfish, Sebastes simulator, whose common Spanish name is rocote rosa, is a species in the Rockfishes and Scorpionfishes or Scorpaenidae Family, known collectively as escorpiónes or lapóns in Mexico. Globally, there are one hundred twenty-four species in the genus Sebastes, forty-nine of which are found in Mexican waters, all in the Pacific.

The Pinkrose Rockfish have robust oblong shaped bodies with a depth that is 31 to 35% of standard length. They have a uniform dark red or maroon coloration with four or five conspicuous white blotches running along the top of their back. All their fins are a uniform color which is identical to the dark red or maroon color of the body, however some fish have anal, caudal, and dorsal fins with white tips. Their anal fin has 3 spines (the second being stout and longer than the third) and 5 or 6 rays; their caudal fin is straight; their dorsal fin has 13 spines and 12 to 14 rays; their pectoral fins have 16 to 18 rays; and they have 28 to 33 gill rakers. Their body is covered with scales.

The Pinkrose Rockfish are non-migratory sedentary bottom dwellers that reside in the same area throughout their lifespan. They are found within boulder fields, high-relief rocks, and over cobblestone bottoms at depths between 300 and 900 feet. They reach a maximum length of 42 cm (16 inches). They feed on fish, krill, octopi, and a variety of other small marine organisms. They have lifespans of up to fifty-three years. Very little is known about their behavioral patterns.

In Mexican waters the Pinkrose Rockfish have a limited distribution being found from Guerrero Negro northward along the central and northwest coasts of Baja.

The Pinkrose Rockfish is fairly straightforward to identify due to its uniform dark red or maroon coloration and therefore it cannot easily be confused with any other species, with the exception that it is very similar to the Rosethorn Rockfish, Sebastes helvomaculatus (pink tinges on fins).

The Pinkrose Rockfish are of limited interest to most as they are a rare deep water species that is seldom seen by humans.

Pinkrose Rockfish, Sebastes simulator. Fish courtesy of the commercial fishermen of the greater San Diego area, San Diego, California, December 2014. Length: 24.1 cm (9.5 inches). Identification courtesy of Milton Love, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA.

Pinkrose Rockfish, Sebastes simulator. Fish courtesy of the commercial fishermen of the greater San Diego area, San Diego, California, December 2014. Identification courtesy of Milton Love, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA.