E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Anoplarchus purpurescens Gill, 1861
High Cockscomb
Family: Stichaeidae
Photo of species

© Aaron Baldwin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #6719)

Source: Distribution of Anoplarchus purpurescens as compiled by Aquamaps
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Species Information

Dorsal spines (total): 55 - 58; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 39 - 40; Vertebrae: 58 - 61. Caudal with convex outer margin (Ref. 6885). Color very variable- may be light to dark gray with olivaceous overtones, brown to dark brown with or without reddish overtones, or purple to almost black. Females are less varied in color, but show more pattern, usually having green grayish backgrounds with brownish reticulations, or dark brownish backgrounds with subdued reticulation. Belly pale. In the males, the cockscomb and under surface of head are pale, rather yellowish, and without speckling. In the female, the head is more speckled and mottled. There is a gray bar across the base of the caudal peduncle. At breeding season, the male develops bright orange colors on its anal and pectoral fins, and reddish on the caudal and dorsal fins (Ref. 6885).

Source: FishBase. Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H Hammann. 1983 . (Ref. 2850)


Species Biology

Usually found in intertidal areas under rocks (Ref. 2850). May remain out of water under rocks or seaweed (Ref. 31184). Green algae is an important food item but may also feed on polychaete worms, crustaceans and mollusks (Ref. 6885). Breathes air (Ref. 31184) and can remain out of water for 15-25 hours if kept moist (Ref. 51276). demersal; marine; depth range 1 - 30 m (Ref. 2850). Temperate climate.

Source: FishBase. Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H Hammann. 1983 . (Ref. 2850)



Eastern Pacific: Pribilof Islands, Alaska to Santa Rosa Island and Trinidad Bay, southern California, USA.

Source: FishBase. Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H Hammann. 1983 . (Ref. 2850)

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeSNRNo StatusNot Listed
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-05-29 8:59:47 AM]
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