Copyright 2001-2012, California Science Center

Garibaldi Mating Season

Garibaldis, the official state marine fish of California known for their bright orange color, are mating in the kelp tank! In this video, one of our female garibaldis is laying eggs in a nest made of algae. The female can be seen swimming back and forth close to the nest while the male hovers above or to her right, fertilizing the eggs. Toward the video's end, the male, who protects the nest, chases the female garibaldi away.

For garibaldis to mate, the male garibaldi creates a nest and the female garibaldi has to decide that the nest is suitable before she will lay her eggs in it. Because the process is quite complicated, Science Center staff are amazed and pleased that it has happened several times right here in the kelp tank, which is not connected directly to the ocean. In 2013 alone, we've had as many as five active garibaldi nests. If garibaldis continue to lay eggs in the tank, and we can hatch the eggs and raise the babies, the Science Center could provide garibaldis to other aquariums to reduce the number being removed from the wild for display.