Greenling Family Photos and Information – Hexagrammidae

The Greenling Family – Hexagrammidae

There are currently two members of the Greenling or Hexagrammidae Family, both from the Pacific, presented in this website:

 Lingcod, Ophiodon elongates.
Lingcod, Ophiodon elongates.
Painted Greenling, Oxylebius pictus
Painted Greenling, Oxylebius pictus.

The Greenling or Hexagrammidae Family, which includes the Greenlings, Lingcod, Atka Mackerel, and Combfish, is a small fish family residing in the Pacific Ocean and comprising twelve species placed in five genera. Of these, four species in three genera are found in Mexican waters of the Pacific. Collectively they are known at molvas in Mexico. Most members are small to moderately sized fish averaging around 50 cm (20 inches) in length, however, the Lingcod can reach a length of 1.52 meters (5 feet 0 inches). They are found intertidally and demersal at depths up to 2,000 feet but most are inshore on the continental shelf. They have moderately elongated and compressed bodies. They are highly variable in color differing by sex, size, geographic location, and local habitat. They are characterized by broad and spiny anal, dorsal, and pectoral fins. They each have an anal fin with a long base and a single dorsal fin that is notched with 16 to 28 spines and 11 to 30 rays. They have head cirri and small teeth. They are covered with scales and have one to five lateral lines. They reside in temperate and subarctic waters of the northern Pacific and are found along rocky shorelines and in kelp beds; at certain times of the year they are also found in tide pools. They are scavengers but also eat small fish and small invertebrates such as crabs. They are caught with some frequency by recreational fishermen and by spear fishermen. Only the Lingcod is of commercial importance; it is sold commercially and is a sought