Sailing on the Seafloor at Monterey Bay Aquarium

Hi Jammers, I have a new favorite fish this week at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It’s the sailfin sculpin (Nautichthys oculofasciatus).  One of more than 500 species of fish that call Monterey Bay home, these little guys are easily distinguished by their extra long dorsal fin--hence the name sailfin!

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Their common name is eye-banded sailor fish and they can grow to be 20 cm long.  Most the ones I’ve seen however, are half that size.
After one collecting trip, the folks at the Aquarium discovered that one of their sailfin sculpins had an orange mass of eggs attached to it! 

With extra love and attention, they were able to hatch those eggs and now there are lots more of these fish both 

in the kelp tank and the touch tanks.

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They blend in well to the rocky seafloor and are hard to spot as they forage for little crustaceans like shrimp. I think they really look like a floating piece of debris, don’t you? Yay to the sailfin sculpin!