Rubberlip Serfperch

Rubberlip Surfperch

Rhacochilus toxotes

Physical Description

Rubberlip Surfperch, scientifically known as Rhacochilus toxotes, can reach lengths of up to 47 centimeters, making them the largest among surfperches. They are characterized by their very thick white or pink lips, which are distinctive features of this species. Their body coloration ranges from silver to brassy, with adults typically displaying one or two vertical bars, although these markings may sometimes be faint.


These surfperch are commonly found in kelp forests and rocky areas along the eastern Pacific coast. They exhibit a preference for habitats with ample structure and cover provided by kelp forests, where they can find protection from predators and abundant food sources. Rubberlip Surfperch are often observed in schools near the bottom or midwater regions within kelp forests.

Geographical Range

Rubberlip Surfperch inhabit the coastal waters from northern California to central Baja California. Within this range, they are commonly found along rocky shores and in kelp forest ecosystems. Their distribution is closely tied to the availability of suitable habitats with rocky substrates and kelp canopy cover.

What They Eat

Rubberlip Surfperch primarily feed on small benthic crustaceans such as amphipods and shrimp. They are well adapted to foraging in the complex habitats provided by kelp forests, where they can efficiently locate and consume their prey. As live bearers, they play a role in the reproductive dynamics of coastal ecosystems.