Rock greenling

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Rock greenling
Fish4016 - Flickr - NOAA Photo Library.jpg
Hexagrammos lagocephalus drawing.jpg
Scientific classification
H. lagocephalus
Binomial name
Hexagrammos lagocephalus
(Pallas, 1810)

Hexagrammos lagocephalus is a colorful marine fish with the common name rock greenling in the greenling family.[1][2] It is sometimes known as fringed greenling and erroneously as the red rock trout.[3]


The fish is maroon, with blue spot that fades to bright red.[1] The color pattern helps it blend in with its natural environment. It grows to up to 24 in (60 cm) long.[2] Most adult have blue mouths,[4] while the young have bright red eyes.[3]


The species is usually solitary, but not aggressive, which has led to easy husbandry in public aquaria. It is sometimes cryptic, however, and often elusive to divers and spear fishermen, as they prefer living among the rock in the heavy surge.[3]


H. lagocephalus is a generalized feeder, eating everything from invertebrates such as crabs and isopods to fish eggs and algae. When young, the fish eat zooplankton.


The rock greenling's natural distribution is along the Pacific Coast from Alaska's Bering Sea to the coast of southern California. Its habitat of choice is rocky shoreline.[2] Sometimes,though, they can be found in tidepools and sandy areas.[3]

Economic value[edit]

Though not commonly commercially fished like the related lingcod, they are a popular gamefish. Most live among areas impossible to fish by commercial boats.[3] They are commonly caught by sport fishers off exposed rocky shores.[4]


  1. ^ a b The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Fishes, Whales & Dolphins. Chanticleer Press. 1983. p. 725.
  2. ^ a b c Pacific Coast Inshore Fishes. Sea Challengers. 1981. p. 50.
  3. ^ a b c d e Coastal Fishes of the Pacific Northwest. Harbour Publishing CO. LTD. 1986. p. 128.
  4. ^ a b Peterson Field Guide: Pacific Coast Fishes. Houghton Mifflin Company. 1983. pp. 155–156.

External links[edit]