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

Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus (Tilesius, 1811)
Red Irish Lord
Family: Cottidae
Photo of species

© Derek Holzapfel  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #15926)

Source: Distribution of Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus as compiled by Aquamaps
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Species Information

Dorsal spines (total): 10 - 12; Dorsal soft rays (total): 18 - 20; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 13 - 16; Vertebrae: 35. Dorsal with moderate notches in the spinous part after the third spine, and between the spinous and rayed parts; caudal bluntly rounded; pelvic fins larger in males (Ref. 6885). Color variable, predominately red, sometimes brilliant red, with brown, white, and black mottling and spotting all over; there are four irregular dark saddles across back; the caudal fin with darker rays, sometimes with vertical light bars; some large males with darkly spotted pelvic fins (including base of pectorals) (Ref. 6885).

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


Species Biology

Usually near shore in rocky areas (Ref. 2850), from intertidal areas to 275 m depth (Ref. 6793). Adults feed on crabs, barnacles, and mussels (Ref. 6885). Environment: demersal; marine; depth range 0 - 450 m (Ref. 58496). Climate: temperate; 66°N - 34°N

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



North Pacific: Kamchatka, Russia and along the Commander and Aleutian Islands to St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea and to Monterey Bay, California, USA.

Source: FishBase. 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 Notes

This species can change color to match its surroundings and can be almost invisible as a result. Photos # 7607 and 7608 show an individual that changed colour within seconds.

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: 2024-05-28 5:50:25 AM]
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© E-Fauna BC 2021: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC