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Garibaldi damselfish

The Garibaldi damselfish (Hypsypops rubicundus) or just Garibaldi, is a species of fish native to the subtropical waters of the Pacific Ocean, ranging from Monterey Bay, California, to Guadalupe Island, Baja California. They are found at depths of about 100 feet, usually around reefs and rocky sea-bottoms. This is the official marine state fish of California and is protected in California coastal waters. It is also the mascot for the Georgia Aquarium. This fish is named after the Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi, who famously wore a red shirt, as did many of his followers.

These brilliant orange fish grows up to 12 inches long. The young Garibaldi damselfish has iridescent blue spots that are lost as it becomes an adult. One interesting feature of the Garibaldi is that it has the ability to change its sex throughout its lifetime. This process is undergone when the male to female ratio is out of balance. The Garibaldi can undergo this process multiple times in its life.

The Garibaldi feeds mostly on invertebrates that it removes from the rocks in its habitat. The adult maintains the home territory and clears a sheltered nesting site for the female to deposit her eggs. The male also guards the nest until the eggs hatch in about 19 to 21 days.

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Garibaldi damselfish


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