Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes/Zoarcoidei
(Eelpouts and pricklebacks) > Stichaeidae
(Pricklebacks) > Xiphisterinae
Etymology: Xiphister: Greek, xiphos = armed with sword (Ref. 45335). More on author: Girard.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; demersal; depth range - 18 m (Ref. 2850), usually - m (Ref. ). Subtropical; 0°C - ; 59°N - 34°N, 156°W - 118°W
Eastern Pacific: Port San Juan, southeastern Alaska to Santa Cruz Island, southern California, USA.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 58.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2850); max. reported age: 11 years (Ref. 56049)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 71 - 77;
soft rays: 46 - 50. Caudal small and rounded, directed upward; pectorals as minute flaps (Ref. 6885). Greenish black with several dusky white bars on posterior part of body, 2 dark bands diverging back from each eye, each band double with a paler center (Ref. 6885).
Found in rocky areas, from intertidal to 18 m depth, mostly on exposed coast (Ref. 2850). May remain out of water under rocks or seaweed (Ref. 31184). Feed mainly on algae (Ref. 6885). Oviparous, eggs are laid in several clumps or masses which are guarded by the male (Ref. 58332). Breathe air (Ref. 31184) and can stay out of water for 17-23 hours if kept moist (Ref. 51276).
Female lays eggs in a cluster under a rock, male guards the egg mass by wrapping his body around it (Ref. 2850)
Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann, 1983. A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Boston (MA, USA): Houghton Mifflin Company. xii+336 p. (Ref. 2850)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 124695)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 8.9 - 12.8, mean 10.1 °C (based on 164 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.7500 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01000 (0.00244 - 0.04107), b=3.04 (2.81 - 3.27), in cm total length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.2 ±0.1 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (tm=5; tmax=11; Fec-9,500).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High vulnerability (57 of 100) .