Speckled Sanddab
Citharichthys stigmaeus

One of the most numerous fish off La Jolla Shores -- and one of the most seldom seen -- is the lowly sanddab.  A master of disguise, this little fish can change its coloring to exactly match its background -- like the sand in this photo.

When first born, larval sanddabs head out to the open ocean and stay there -- as much as 200 miles out -- for up to 10 months.  When they're about an inch or so long, they make their way back to the coast and settle on the sand in moderately shallow waters-- typically between 20 and 60 feet.  They reach about six to seven inches, at the most.

Lens: 105 mm Micro
Film: Kodak E100VS
Depth: 55 feet
Location: La Jolla Shores, CA
©2000 Garry McCarthy