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Rockfish Identification Manual

December 13, 2017

The rockfishes (family Scorpaenidae) of the northeast Pacific Ocean north of Mexico comprise five genera, three of which are included in this guide: Sebastes, Sebastolobus, and Adelosebastes. Sebastes includes some 100 species worldwide; 33, including one to be described, are presently recognized from Alaskan waters. Sebastolobus (commonly known as the thornyheads) includes only three species worldwide; all three are found in Alaskan waters. The single species of Adelosebastes (the Aleutian scorpionfish, A. latens) is known only from the Aleutian Islands and Emperor Seamounts. Of the three genera treated here, Sebastes poses the most difficulties in identification, both because of the numbers of species and because of their morphological similarity and variability. This guide includes color images of 37 species photographed under natural and electronic flash conditions in the field. Most specimens were photographed immediately after collection.