Semicossyphus pulcher

California Sheepheads are all born females and later in life go through a change that transforms them into males.

As females they spend much of their lives as a pinkish color with light undersides. Males have large black bulbous heads and black tails with a reddish band. Both male and female sheephead have characteristic white chins and protruding teeth.

It is generally accepted that females become males some time from five to 14 years of age but the change in sex is still a mystery. Male sheephead are very territorial during the mating season, when the waters warm in summer and early fall. 

They can be found in kelp forests and rocky bottoms from the coast of California to the Sea of Cortez, Mexico.

The California Sheephead preys mostly on invertebrates such as crabs, lobsters, sea urchins, and mollusks.