Painted greenling (Oxylebius pictus)

Underwater photo of a light colored painted greenling with bright red stripes
Painted greenling (Janna Nichols)
Category: Fish
Related species groups: Greenling
Common names: Painted greenling

Rarely caught by recreational harvesters within Puget Sound and uncommon in coastal waters.

Description and Range

Physical description

The body color of a painted greenling is usually grayish to brown with 5 to 7 red or reddish brown bars that extend onto the fins. Occasionally the body can be quite dark with white spots. The throat is usually dark-spotted with dark spots on the caudal, pectoral and pelvic fins. There is a lateral line along the body. There are two cirri, one above the eye and the other midway between the eye and the start of the dorsal fin. The anal fin has three to fourspines. The snout of this species is pointed and three dark bands radiate from the eye, one forward and two backward.

Painted greenling can grow up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) in length and live to be 8 years old.

Geographic range

Painted greenling range from Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska to north-central Baja, California, but are rare north of Washington. They are found in rocky areas from the intertidal to 160 feet (49 meters).