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Bottomfish Identification: Other Bottomfish

Red Brotula
Brosmophycis marginata

Very rarely caught by recreational harvesters within Puget Sound.

Description: The body of the red brotula is bright red and, occasionally orangish to brownish red.  The lower sides and belly are pale red.  This species has four (two long and two short) barbell-like ventral fin rays in place of well-developed pectoral fins.  Both the dorsal and anal fins are covered with skin that extends to the deep notched base of a small tail.   The caudal fin is small and round.  The fore-lateral line is arched, with a slight break between it and the straight rear-lateral line, which extends to the tail.  The red brotula has pink lips and secretes reddish mucus.

Maximum Size: To 46 cm (18 in) in length.

Maximum Age: Information is lacking for this species.

Range/Habitat: Red brotula range from southeastern Alaska to southern California.  They are found at depths ranging from 3-256 m (10-840 ft) and inhabit rocky, boulder-strewn areas, reefs, and walls.  


  • Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann, 1983. A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 336 p.
  • Humann, P. and H. Hall, 1996. Coastal fish identification: California to Alaska. New World Pubns Inc.
Photos:  J. Selleck