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Wrasses

California Sheephead

Semicossyphus pulcher

       
(1: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos / 2: Starlight, Santa Catalina Island / 3-4: Black Rock, Santa Catalina Island / 5: San Carlos Beach, Monterey / 6: Ship Rock, Santa Catalina Island / 7: Sutil Island, Santa Barbara Island / 8: Indian Rock, Santa Catalina Island)

At night, they get a mottled appearance:
 
(1-2: Sea Landing Cove, Santa Barbara Island)

Sheephead all start female.  When they're the biggest one in the area, they change to male, develop a stronger forehead, and get darker on both ends:
     
(1: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos / 2: Coral Gardens, San Clemente Island / 3-4: Arch Point, Santa Barbara Island / 5: Ship Rock, Santa Catalina Island / 6: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Juveniles look nothing like the adults:
      
(1-3,5-7: San Carlos Beach, Monterey / 4: Starlight, Santa Catalina Island)


Rock Wrasse

Halichoeres semicinctus

       
(1: Black Rock, Santa Catalina Island / 2-3: Starlight, Santa Catalina Island / 4: Seal Cove, San Clemente Island / 5: Ship Rock, Santa Catalina Island / 6: Goat Harbor, Santa Catalina Island / 7: Hen Rock, Santa Catalina Island / 8: Indian Rock, Santa Catalina Island)

Initial phase rock wrasse have black speckles down the side.  Final phase have a black bar.

This is a juvenile:
(1: Starlight, Santa Catalina Island)


Señorita

Oxyjulis californica

       
(1: Black Rock, Santa Catalina Island / 2-3: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos / 4,7: San Carlos Beach, Monterey / 5-6: Golf Ball Drop Off, Santa Cruz Island)

Usually yellow-orange, but occasionally mottled:
(1: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Señorita will clean parasites off of other fish.  These are cleaning blacksmiths:
 
(1-2: Ship Rock, Santa Catalina Island)