Girella nigricans

-2 to 4 inches (only juveniles in the intertidal)

-up to 2 feet off shore, typically spend their juvenile stages in the intertidal

-white spot on both sides of its back near the dorsal fin

-olive green in color with opal blue-green eye color


Wooly Sculpin

Cilinocottus analis

-2-7 inches in length

-Bottom-living fish

-Swim erratically, dart away when disturbed

-Change color to match background


California Clingfish

Gobiesox rhessodon

-2 inches

-flattened body that varies in color

-three lighter colored bands

-pelvic fins form suction disc to attach to rocks and algae


Blind Goby

Typhlogobius californiensis

-2 to 3 inches

-lives in burrows created by the Ghost Shrimp

-eyes are covered by thick flesh

-scales are smooth with a pink, fleshy color


Moray Eel


Where to find them

Moray eels are some of the more elusive creatures lurking in our tide pools. They can grow to about 5 feet in length and are dark brown or green in color. They can live to be about 80 years old and spend most of their lives at a depth of 60 feet or less. There was one at the Birch Aquarium that was at least 80 when it died.

What Do They Eat

Moray eels eat mostly at night. Because of this, in order to find their prey, they must rely on their well developed sense of smell more than their eyes. They have three rows of razor sharp teeth that help with hunting their favorite treats of octopus, small fish, crabs, sea urchins and shrimp. While their teeth act as a great hunting tool, they don’t help much in the actual swallowing of their food.

Who Eats Them

While moray eels do not have many natural predators, they are hunted by barracudas and sea snakes. And, occasionally, moray eels will prey upon each other.

Did You Know?