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

Nautichthys oculofasciatus (Girard, 1858)
Sailfin Sculpin
Family: Hemitripteridae
Photo of species

© Aaron Baldwin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #6043)

Source: Distribution of Nautichthys oculofasciatus as compiled by Aquamaps
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Species Information

Dorsal spines (total): 8 - 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 27 - 30; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 18 - 20. Caudal fin rounded, directed upward (Ref. 6885). Color variable, gray above with dark markings and obscure dusky bands, paler below; spinous dorsal darker; other fins except pelvic fins diagonally streaked darker; sometimes red flecks on rayed dorsal and on eyes; a very distinct black band running diagonally down and back through eye (Ref. 6885). A recognizable variant occurs in Knight Inlet, British Columbia - the first caudal fin is dominated by the II, III, I rather than the first four spines and the whole fin is frail and when removed from fluid appears more like a mast than a sail (Ref. 6885).

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


Species Biology

Occurs inshore and to 110 m depth, mostly on rocky bottoms and areas with algae (Ref. 2850). Nocturnal (Ref. 6885). May be found upside down against roofs of crevices (Ref. 6885). Swims with its dorsal fin extended in front of its head (Ref. 6885). Eggs deposited in late winter or spring (Ref. 6885). Environment: demersal; marine; depth range ? - 110 m (Ref. 2850). Climate: temperate; 66°N – 34°N

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



Eastern Pacific: St. Lawrence Island, Alaska to San Miguel Island, southern California, USA. Possibly occurring in Japan (Ref. 2850).

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: 2024-04-22 8:21:19 AM]
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