Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 30, Issue 1–2, pp 203–224 | Cite as

Ecology of pelagic larvae and juveniles of the genusSebastes

  • H. Geoffrey Moser
  • George W. Boehlert
Identification, Systematics and Ecology


Pelagic larvae and juveniles of the genusSebastes are widely distributed in the continental shelf and slope waters of subarctic to temperate oceans, with greatest abundance in the Northern Hemisphere. We review the ecology and distribution of these planktonic and micronektonic life stages in relation to oceanographic conditions. Special attention is paid to the west coast of North America, where abundance of larvae from samples collected during 1951–1981 is described. After transformation, the pelagic juveniles are widely distributed, often at great distances from benthic adult habitats. These stages are most frequently distributed in either midwater or near-surface habitats; this dichotomy may require different strategies for successful recruitment.

Key words

Scorpaenidae Rockfish Distribution Ichthyoplankton 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References cited

  1. Ahlstrom, E.H. 1959. Vertical distribution of pelagic fish eggs and larvae off California and Baja California. U. S. Fish. Bull. 60:107–146.Google Scholar
  2. Ahlstrom, E.H. 1961. Distribution and relative abundance of rockfish (Sebastodes spp.) larvae off California and Baja California. Rapp. P.-V. Cons. Perm. Explor. Mer. 150:169–176.Google Scholar
  3. Ahlstrom, E.H., H.G. Moser & E.M. Sandknop. 1978. Distributional atlas of fish larvae in the California Current region: rockfishes,Sebastes spp., 1950 through 1975. Calif. Coop. Oceanic Fish. Invest. Atlas 26. 178 pp.Google Scholar
  4. Ambrose, D., R.L., Charter, H.G. Moser & C.R. Santos Methot. 1987. Ichthyoplankton and station data for California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations survey cruises in 1951. U.S. Dep. Commer., NOAA Tech. Memo., NMFS-SWFC-79. 196 pp.Google Scholar
  5. Anderson, J.T. 1984. Early life history of redfish (Sebastes spp.) on Flemish Cap. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 41:1106–1116.Google Scholar
  6. Anderson, T.W. 1983. Identification and development of nearshore juvenile rockfishes (genusSebastes) in central California kelp forests. M.A. Thesis, California State University, Fresno. 216 pp.Google Scholar
  7. Arthur, D.K. 1977. Distribution, size, and abundance of microcopepods in the California Current system and their possible influence on survival of marine teleost larvae. U.S. Fish. Bull. 75:601–611.Google Scholar
  8. Bainbridge, V. & G.A. Cooper. 1971. Populations ofSebastes larvae in the North Atlantic. Int. Comm. Northwest Atl. Fish. Res. Bull. 8:27–35.Google Scholar
  9. Bainbridge, V. & B.J. McKay. 1968. The feeding of cod and redfish larvae. Int. Comm. Northwest Atl. Fish. Spec. Publ. 7: 187–217.Google Scholar
  10. Baranenkova, A.S. & N.S. Khokhlina. 1961. The distribution and size composition of larvae and young redfish in the Norwegian and Barents Seas. Rapp. P.-V. Cons. Perm. Explor. Mer. 150: 177–187.Google Scholar
  11. Barnett, A.M., A.M. Jahn, P.D. Sertic & W. Watson. 1984. Distribution of ichthyoplankton off San Onofre, California, and methods for sampling very shallow coastal waters. U.S. Fish. Bull. 82:97–111.Google Scholar
  12. Berry, F.H. & H.C. Perkins. 1965. Survey of pelagic fishes of the California Current area. U.S. Fish Wildl. Serv., Fish. Bull. 65:625–682.Google Scholar
  13. Boehlert, G.W. 1977. Timing of the surface-to-benthic migration in juvenile rockfish,Sebastes diploproa, off southern California. U.S. Fish. Bull. 75:887–890.Google Scholar
  14. Boehlert, G.W. 1981. The effects of photoperiod and temperature on laboratory growth of juvenileSebastes diploproa and a comparison with growth in the field. U.S. Fish. Bull. 79:789–794.Google Scholar
  15. Boehlert, G.W., D.M. Gadomski & B.C. Mundy. 1985. Vertical distribution of ichthyoplankton off the Oregon coast in spring and summer months. U.S. Fish. Bull. 83:611–621.Google Scholar
  16. Boehlert, G.W. & A. Genin. 1987. A review of the effects of seamounts on biological processes pp. 319–334.In: B.H. Keating, P. Fryer, R. Batiza & G.W. Boehlert (ed.) Seamounts, Islands, and Atolls, Amer Geophys. Union, Geophysical Monograph 43.Google Scholar
  17. Boehlert, G.W. & M.M. Yoklavich. 1983. Effects of temperature, ration, and fish size on growth of juvenile black rockfish,Sebastes melanops. Env. Biol. Fish. 8:17–28.Google Scholar
  18. Brodeur, R.D. & W.G. Pearcy. 1986. Distribution and relative abundance of pelagic nonsalmonid nekton off Oregon and Washington, 1979–1984. U.S. Dep. Commer., NOAA Tech. Rep. NMFS 46. 85 pp.Google Scholar
  19. Chelton, D.B., P.A. Bernal & J.A. McGowan. 1982. Large-scale interannual physical and biological interaction in the California Current. J. Mar. Res. 40:1095–1125.Google Scholar
  20. Chen, L.-C. 1971. Systematics, variation, distribution, and biology of rockfishes of the subgenusSebastomus (Pisces, Scorpaenidae,Sebastes). Bull. Scripps Inst. Oceanogr. 18:1–115.Google Scholar
  21. Clark, J. & A.W. Kendall, Jr. 1985. Ichthyoplankton off Washington, Oregon, and northern California. Dept. of Commer., Nat. Mar. Fish. Serv., Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center, Processed Rep. 85-10. 48 pp.Google Scholar
  22. Ebert, T.A. & M.P. Russell. 1988. Latitudinal variation in size structure of the west coast purple sea urchin: a correlation with headlands. Limnol. Oceanogr. 33:286–294.Google Scholar
  23. Einarsson, H. 1961. The fry ofSebastes in Icelandic waters and adjacent seas. Rapp. P.-V. Cons. Perm. Explor. Mer. 150: 199–200.Google Scholar
  24. Gruber, D., E.H. Ahlstrom & M.M. Mullin. 1982. Distribution of ichthyoplankton in the Southern California Bight. Calif. Coop. Oceanic Fish. Invest. Rep. 23:172–179.Google Scholar
  25. Guillemot, P.J., R.J. Larson & W.H. Lenarz. 1985. Seasonal cycles of fat and gonad volume in five species of northern California rockfish (Scorpaenidae:Sebastes). U.S. Fish. Bull. 83:299–311.Google Scholar
  26. Harada, E. 1962. A contribution to the biology of the black rockfish,Sebastes inermis (Cuvier et Valenciennes). Publ. Seto Mar. Biol. Lab. 5:307–361.Google Scholar
  27. Henderson, G.T.D. 1961. Continuous plankton records: the distribution of youngSebastes marinus. Bull. Mar. Ecol. 5:173–193.Google Scholar
  28. Hewitt, R. 1981. Eddies and speciation in the California Current. Calif. Coop. Oceanic Fish. Invest. Rep. 22:96–98.Google Scholar
  29. Hewitt, R.P. 1988. Historical review of the oceanographic approach to research. Calif. Coop. Oceanic Fish. Invest. Rep. 29:27–41.Google Scholar
  30. Hoshiai, G. 1977. Larvae and juveniles of the scorpaenid fish,Sebastes schlegeli. Jap. J. Ichthyol. 24:35–42. (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  31. Ikehara, K. 1977. Studies on the fish eggs and larvae accompanied with drifting seaweeds in the Sado Strait and its vicinity. Bull. Jap. Sea Reg. Fish. Res. Lab. 28:17–28. (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  32. Iles, T.D. & M. Sinclair. 1982. Atlantic herring: stock discreteness and abundance. Science 215:627–633.Google Scholar
  33. Kendall, A.W., Jr. 1991. Systematics and identification of larvae and juveniles of the genusSebastes. Env. Biol. Fish. 30:173–190.Google Scholar
  34. Kendall, A.W., Jr. & J. Clark. 1982. Ichthyoplankton off Washington, Oregon, and northern California, April-May 1980. Dept. of Commer., Nat. Mar. Fish. Serv., Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center, Processed Rep. 82-11. 44 pp.Google Scholar
  35. Kendall, A.W., Jr. & J.R. Dunn. 1985. Ichthyoplankton of the continental shelf near Kodiak Island, Alaska. U.S. Dep. Commer., NOAA Tech. Rep. NMFS 20. 89 pp.Google Scholar
  36. Kendall, A.W., Jr. & P. Ferraro. 1988. Ichthyoplankton of the Gulf of Alaska near Kodiak Island, March to June 1985. Dept. of Commer., Nat. Mar. Fish. Serv., Nothwest and Alaska Fisheries Center, Processed Rep. 88-03. 88 pp.Google Scholar
  37. Kendall, A.W., Jr. & W.H. Lenarz. 1987. Status of early life history studies of Northeast Pacific rockfishes. pp. 99–128.In: Proceedings of the International Rockfish Symposium, Anchorage, Alaska, Univ. Alaska, Alaska Sea Grant Rep. 87-2.Google Scholar
  38. Kim, J.M., J.M. Yoo, H.T. Huh & S.S. Cha. 1985. Distribution of fish larvae in the Ulsan Bay, South Korea and its adjacent waters. Ocean Res. (Seoul) 7:15–22.Google Scholar
  39. Kuwahara, A. & S. Suzuki. 1983. Vertical distribution and feeding of three species of rockfish Scorpaenidae larvae. Bull. Jap. Soc. Sci. Fish. 49:515–520. (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  40. Larson, R.J. 1991. Seasonal cycles of reserves in relation to reproduction inSebastes. Env. Biol. Fish. 30:57–70.Google Scholar
  41. LeBrasseur, R. 1970. Larval fish species collected in zooplankton samples from the northeastern Pacific Ocean 1956–1959. Fish. Res. Board Can. Tech. Rep. 175. 47 pp.Google Scholar
  42. Lenarz, W.H. & T.W. Echeverria. 1986. Comparison of visceral far and gonadal fat volumes of yellowtail rockfish,Sebastes flavidus, during a normal year and a year of El Niño conditions. U.S. Fish. Bull. 84:743–745.Google Scholar
  43. Lisovenko, L.A. 1967. Distribution of the larvae of rockfish (Sebastodes alutus Gilbert) in the Gulf of Alaska. pp. 217–225.In: P.A. Moiseev (ed.) Soviet Fisheries Investigations in the Northeast Pacific, Part III, U.S. Dep. Commer., Clearinghouse Fed. Sci. Tech. Inform., Springfield.Google Scholar
  44. Loeb, V.J. & O. Rojas. 1988. Interannual variation of ichthyoplankton composition and abundance relations off northern Chile, 1964–85. U.S. Fish. Bull. 86:1–24.Google Scholar
  45. Love, M.S., M.H. Carr & L.J. Haldorson. 1991. The ecology of substrate-associated juveniles of the genusSebastes. Env. Biol. Fish. 30:225–243.Google Scholar
  46. Lynn, R.J. & J.J. Simpson. 1987. The California Current system: the seasonal variability of its physical characteristics. J. Geophysical Res. 92:12947–12966.Google Scholar
  47. MacCall, A.D. & M.H. Prager. 1988. Historical changes in abundance of six fish species off southern California, based on Cal-COFl egg and larva samples. Calif. Coop. Oceanic Fish. Invest. Rep. 29:91–101.Google Scholar
  48. MacGregor, J.S. 1970. Fecundity, multiple spawning, and description of the gonads inSebastodes. U.S. Fish. Wildl. Serv. Spec. Sci. Rep. Fish. 596. 12 pp.Google Scholar
  49. MacGregor, J.S. 1986. Relative abundance of four species ofSebastes off California and Baja California. Calif. Coop. Oceanic Fish. Invest. Rep. 27:121–135.Google Scholar
  50. Marak, R.R. 1974. Food and feeding of larval redfish in the Gulf of Maine. pp. 267–275.In: J.H.S. Blaxter (ed.) The Early Life History of Fish, Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  51. Marliave, J.B. 1986. Lack of planktonic dispersal of rocky intertidal fish larvae. Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc. 115:149–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Mearns, A.J., M.J. Allen, M.D. Moore & M.J. Sherwood. 1980. Distribution, abundance, and recruitment of soft-bottom rockfishes (Scorpaenidae:Sebastes) on the southern California mainland shelf. Calif. Coop. Oceanic Fish. Invest., Rep. 21:180–191.Google Scholar
  53. Mitchell, C.T. & J.R. Hunter. 1970. Fishes associated with drifting kelp,Macrocystis pyrifera, off the coast of southern California and northern Baja California. Calif. Fish Game 56:288–297.Google Scholar
  54. Mooers, C.N.K. & A.R. Robinson. 1984. Turbulent jets and eddies in the California Current and inferred cross-shore transports. Science 223:51–53.Google Scholar
  55. Moser, H.G. 1967. Reproduction and development ofSebastodes paucispinis and comparison with other rockfishes off southern California. Copeia 1967:773–797.Google Scholar
  56. Moser, H.G. 1972. Development and geographic distribution of the rockfish,Sebastes macdonaldi (Eigenmann and Beeson, 1893), family Scorpaenidae, off southern California and Baja California. U.S. Fish. Bull. 70:941–958.Google Scholar
  57. Moser, H.G. 1974. Development and distribution of larvae and juveniles ofSebastolobus (Pisces: family Scorpaenidae). U.S. Fish. Bull. 72:865–884.Google Scholar
  58. Moser, H.G. & E.H. Ahlstrom. 1978. Larvae and pelagic juveniles of blackgill rockfish,Sebastes melanostomus, taken in midwater trawls off southern California and Baja California. J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 35:981–996.Google Scholar
  59. Moser, H.G., E.H. Ahlstrom & E.M. Sandknop. 1977. Guide to the identification of scorpionfish larvae (family Scorpaenidae) in the eastern Pacific with comparative notes on species ofSebastes andHelicolenus from other oceans. U.S. Dep. Commer., NOAA Tech. Rep. NMFS Circ. 402. 71 pp.Google Scholar
  60. Moser, H.G. & J.L. Butler. 1981. Description of reared larvae and early juveniles of the calico rockfish,Sebastes dallii (Eigenmann and Beeson 1894). Calif. Coop. Oceanic Fish. Invest. Rep. 2:88–95.Google Scholar
  61. Moser, H.G., E.M. Sandknop & D.A. Ambrose. 1985. Larvae and juveniles of aurora rockfish,Sebastes aurora, from off California and Baja California. pp. 55–64.In: A.W. Kendall, Jr. & J.B. Marliave (ed.) Descriptions of Early Life History Stages of Selected Fishes: From the 3rd International Symposium on the Early Life History of Fishes and 8th Annual Larval Fish Conference, Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 1359.Google Scholar
  62. Moser, H.G., P.E. Smith & L.E. Eber. 1987. Larval fish assemblages in the California Current region, 1954–60, a period of dynamic environmental change. Calif. Coop. Oceanic Fish. Invest. Rep. 28:97–127.Google Scholar
  63. Mullin, M.M., E.R. Brooks, F.M.H. Reid, J. Napp & E.F. Stewart. 1985. Vertical structure of nearshore plankton off southern California: a storm and a larval fish food web. U.S. Fish. Bull. 83:151–170.Google Scholar
  64. Norris, K.S. 1963. The functions of temperature in the ecology of the percoid fishGirella nigricans (Ayres). Ecol. Monogr. 33:23–62.Google Scholar
  65. Norton, J. 1987. Ocean climate influences on groundfish recruitment in the California Current. pp. 73–99.In: Proceedings of the International Rockfish Symposium, Anchorage, Alaska, Univ. Alaska, Alaska Sea Grant Rep. 87-2, Anchorage.Google Scholar
  66. Okiyama, M. 1965. A preliminary study of the fish eggs and larvae occurring in the Sado Strait, Japan Sea, with some remarks on the vertical distribution of some fishes. Bull. Jap. Sea. Reg. Fish. Lab. 15:13–37. (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  67. Parrish, R.H., C.S. Nelson & A. Bakun. 1981. Transport mechanisms and reproductive success of fishes in the California Current. Biol. Oceanogr. 1:175–203.Google Scholar
  68. Penney, R.W. & G.T. Evans. 1985. Growth histories of larval redfish (Sebastes spp.) on an offshore Atlantic fishing bank determined by otolith increment analysis. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 42:1452–1464.Google Scholar
  69. Pommeranz, T. & H.G. Moser. 1987. Data report on the vertical distribution of the eggs and larvae of northern anchovy,Engraulis mordax, at two stations in the Southern California Bight, March-April, 1980. U. S. Dep. Commer., NOAA Tech. Memo., NMFS-SWFC-75. 140 pp.Google Scholar
  70. Powell, D.E. & H.H. Hildebrand. 1950. Albacore tuna exploration in Alaskan and adjacent waters, 1949. U.S. Fish Wildl. Ser. Fish. Leafl. 376. 33 pp.Google Scholar
  71. Reid, J.L., Jr. 1962. Measurements of the California countercurrent at a depth of 250 meters. J. Mar. Res. 20:134–137.Google Scholar
  72. Reid, J.L., G.I. Roden & J.G. Wyllie. 1958. Studies of the California Current system. Calif. Coop. Oceanic Fish. Invest. Rep. 6:27–57.Google Scholar
  73. Richardson, S.L. & W.A. Laroche. 1979. Development and occurrence of larvae and juveniles of the rockfishesSebastes crameri, Sebastes pinniger, andSebastes helvomaculatus (family Scorpaenidae) off Oregon. U.S. Fish. Bull. 77:1–46.Google Scholar
  74. Richardson, S.L., J.L. Laroche & M.D. Richardson. 1980. Larval fish assemblages and associations in the north-east Pacific Ocean along the Oregon coast, winter-spring 1972–1975. Estuarine Coastal Mar. Sci. 11:671–699.Google Scholar
  75. Richardson, S.L. & W.G. Pearcy. 1977. Coastal and oceanic fish larvae in an area of upwelling off Yaquina Bay, Oregon. U.S. Fish. Bull. 75:125–145.Google Scholar
  76. Roesler, C. & D.B. Chelton. 1987. Zooplankton variability in the California Current, 1951–1982. Calif. Coop. Oceanic Fish. Invest. Rep. 28:59–96.Google Scholar
  77. Sanchez, R.P. & E.M. Acha. 1988. Development and occurrence of embryos, larvae and juveniles ofSebastes oculatus with reference to two Southwest Atlantic scorpaenids:Helicolenus dactylopterus lahillei andPontinus rathbuni. Meeresforsch. 32:107–133.Google Scholar
  78. Senta, T. 1962. Studies on the occurrence of eggs and larvae of fishes in adjacent waters to the Oki Islands. Jap. J. Ecol. 12:152–166. (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  79. Senta, T. & I. Kinoshita. 1985. Larval and juvenile fishes occurring in surf zones of western Japan. Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc. 114:608–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Shanks, A.L. 1983. Surface slicks associated with tidally forced internal waves may transport pelagic larvae of benthic invertebrates and fishes shoreward. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 13:311–315.Google Scholar
  81. Shenker, J.M. 1988. Oceanographic associations of neustonic larval and juvenile fishes and Dungeness crab megalopae off Oregon. U.S. Fish. Bull. 86:299–317.Google Scholar
  82. Simpson, J.J. 1987. Transport processes affecting the survival of pelagic fish stocks in the California Current. Amer. Fish. Soc. Symp. 2:39–60.Google Scholar
  83. Siokawa, T. & H. Tsukahara. 1961. Studies on habits of coastal fishes in the Amakusa Islands. Part I. Early life history of the purple rockfish,Sebastes pachycephalus pachycephalus Temminck et Schlegel. Rec. Oceanogr. Works Japan. Spec. 5:123–127.Google Scholar
  84. Smith, P.E. & H.G. Moser. 1988. CalCOFI time series: an overview of fishes. Calif. Coop. Oceanic Fish. Invest. Rep. 29:66–78.Google Scholar
  85. Sorokin, V.P. 1961. The redfish; gametogenesis and migrations of theSebastes marinus (L.) andSebastes mentella Travin. Rapp. P.-V. Cons. Perm. Int. Explor. Mer. 150:245–250.Google Scholar
  86. Sumida, B.Y. & H.G. Moser. 1984. Food and feeding of bocaccio (Sebastes paucispinis) and comparison with Pacific hake (Merluccius productus) larvae in the California Current. Calif. Coop. Oceanic Fish. Invest. Rep. 25:112–118.Google Scholar
  87. Sverdrup, H.U. & R.H. Fleming. 1941. The waters off the coast of southern California, March to July, 1937. Bull. Scripps Inst. Oceanogr. 4:261–378.Google Scholar
  88. Tåning, A.V. 1949. On the breeding places and abundance of the redfish (Sebastes) in the North Atlantic. J. Cons. Int. Explor. Mer. 16:85–95.Google Scholar
  89. Templeman, W. 1959. Redfish distribution in the North Atlantic. Bull. Fish. Res. Board Can. 120. 173 pp.Google Scholar
  90. Trexler, J.C. 1985. Variation in the degree of viviparity in the sailfin molly,Poecilia latipinna. Copeia 1985:999–1004.Google Scholar
  91. Waldron, K.D. 1972. Fish larvae collected from the northeastern Pacific Ocean and Puget Sound during April and May, 1967. U.S. Dep. Commer., NOAA Tech. Rep., NMFS-SSRF-663. 16 pp.Google Scholar
  92. Waldron, K.D. 1981. Ichthyoplankton. pp. 471–493.In: D.W. Hood & J.A. Calder (ed.) The Eastern Bering Sea Shelf: Oceanography and Resources. U.S. Gov. Print. Off., Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  93. Walker, H.J., Jr., W. Watson & A.M. Barnett. 1987. Seasonal occurrence of larval fishes in the nearshore Southern California Bight off San Onofre, California. Estuarine Coastal Shelf Sci. 25:91–109.Google Scholar
  94. Wyllie, J.G. 1966. Geostrophic flow of the California Current at the surface and at 200 meters. Calif. Coop. Oceanic Fish. Invest., Atlas 4. xii+288 pp.Google Scholar
  95. Wyllie Echeverria, T. 1987. Thirty-four species of California rockfishes: maturity and seasonality of reproduction. U.S. Fish. Bull. 85:229–250.Google Scholar
  96. Yoklavich, M.M. & G.W. Boehlert. 1987. Daily growth increments in otoliths of juvenile black rockfish,Sebastes melanops: an evaluation of autoradiography as a new method of validation. U.S. Fish. Bull. 85:826–832.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Geoffrey Moser
    • 1
  • George W. Boehlert
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Southwest Fisheries CenterNational Marine Fisheries ServiceLa JollaU.S.A.
  2. 2.Southwest Fisheries Center Honolulu LaboratoryNational Marine Fisheries Service, NOAAHonolulu
  3. 3.Joint Institute of Marine and Atmospheric ResearchUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations