(Hypsypops rubicundus) Appearance: Adult Garibaldis are usually a bright-orange to an orange-red color while juvenile Garibaldis are usually a bright-orange color with streaks and spots of luminous blue. Size: Garibaldis can grow up to 14 inches long and generally live for 13 to 18 years. While growing up juveniles lose their blue markings after growing up to six inches. Where to Find them: In the San Diego area, they are generally found either in the kelp bed or along reefs near openings in rocks. This species ranges only along the eastern Pacific from Montery Bay, California to Magdalena Bay, Baja California. What they Eat: The Garibaldi feeds on seaweed, sponges, bryozoans, worms, and crabs. What Eats them: The predators of the Garibaldi include: the California Sea Lion, sharks, and the California Moray Eel. Reproduction: The greatest thing that the female Garibaldis take into account when finding a mate with whom to leave their eggs with is the condition of the male’s nest. The male takes a month to build a nest sometime in March through July. First they find a slanted surface on a rock with a spot filled with lots of red algae and groom a short lawn of it. They also get rid of other algaes and plants growing there. Nests are typically circular with an average width of 13 to 18 inches in diameter. The female comes by and checks out a few nests before finally deciding her choice. It is found that females prefer to mate with males who have fresh eggs in their nests already. She deposits bright-yellow eggs on the algae in an oval mass and then leaves. Then the male protects the eggs until they hatch which is usually two to three weeks after fertilization. Behavior: Adults are highly territorial and usually live by themselves. When their domain is trespassed they let out a clearly audible thumping sound as a warning. However juveniles can usually wander into adult’s areas without problems and this can be due to their markings which may be to signal permission to enter there. Humans: Garibaldi were declining in population due to massive overcollecting for the saltwater aquarium industry of tank displays. Because of this, the state of California stepped in and declared it the California state marine fish. This protects the fish by law and therefore it cannot be taken for sport or commercial uses in California. They are also the only fish in California that is completely protected by the law. Other Facts:
- The Garibaldi was named for the Italian Army leader Guiseppi Garibaldi whose forces wore bright red shirts.