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

Xiphister atropurpureus (Kittlitz, 1858)
Black Prickleback
Family: Stichaeidae
Photo of species

© Aaron Baldwin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #6048)

Source: Distribution of Xiphister atropurpureus as compiled by Aquamaps
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Species Information

Dorsal spines (total): 65 - 73; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 40 - 52. Caudal rounded; pectorals as minute flaps (Ref. 6885). Dark reddish brown to black with head pale enough to display 3 dark light-edged bands radiating from each eye; light band sometimes prominent across base of caudal fin and extending on dorsal and anal fins (Ref. 6885).

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


Species Biology

Juveniles and adults inhabit intertidal areas down to 8 m depth (Ref. 2850); Individuals to 2 cm in length have been taken from surface waters (Ref. 6885). Found under rocks and in gravel areas (Ref. 2850). May remain out of water under rocks or seaweed (Ref. 31184). Breathe air (Ref. 31184) and can stay out of water for 10-23 hours if kept moist (Ref. 51276). Oviparous, eggs are laid in several clumps or masses which are guarded by the male (Ref. 58332). Environment: demersal; marine; depth range 8 - 12 m (Ref. 51666) Climate: subtropical; 66°N -

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



Eastern Pacific: Kodiak Island, Alaska to Rio Santo Tomas, northern Baja California, Mexico.

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: 2024-07-14 12:19:12 AM]
Disclaimer: The information contained in an E-Fauna BC atlas pages is derived from expert sources as cited (with permission) in each section. This information is scientifically based.  E-Fauna BC also acts as a portal to other sites via deep links.  As always, users should refer to the original sources for complete information.  E-Fauna BC is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of the original information.

© E-Fauna BC 2021: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC