Dermatolepis dermatolepis

Habitat: Leather bass typically are found in reefs and rocky slopes.

Average adult size: Adults can grow to be 3 feet long.

Natural history: Leather bass are usually found swimming over the rocky reef during the day in search of food. Like many other fish species, they congregate at dusk to spawn. Locating a high spot on the reef, they gather by the hundreds to mate. The males and females pair off and rush towards the surface releasing clouds of eggs and sperm. The juveniles are black with alternating gray bars. They spend their young lives hiding in the protection of the spines of the Long Spine Urchins. Their color pattern matches the urchin's spines, providing the perfect defense. Leather bass feed on crabs, shrimps and small fishes.

Range: From Baja, California, south to Ecuador.

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