Species Spotlight: Monkeyface Prickleback

March 21, 2023

Did you know that the monkeyface prickleback eel (Cebidichthys violaceus) is not a true eel? Though often called “eel” due to its elongated body shape, this animal is actually a species of prickleback fish! Monkeyface pricklebacks’ long bodies allow them to shelter in holes and crevices within the reefs they inhabit. In fact, these animals rarely venture more than 15 feet away from their sheltered homes. Monkeyface pricklebacks have an incredible adaptation; as long as the environment is moist, they can breathe outside of the water for up to 35 hours!

Come see this amazing fish for yourself at the Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank Visitor Center. Admission is free and the hours are 10am-4pm Wednesday through Sunday!

Photo credit: GFA (monkeyface prickleback)