Blacksmith Perch

From 27th Trip: Native Sun 3/4 Day Trip 12/21

Blacksmith Perch

The blacksmith (Chromis punctipinnis) is a fish native to the eastern Pacific Ocean. Its range is from Monterey Bay, California, to central Baja California, Mexico.

The blacksmith reaches a maximum size of 25 cm and is dark blue. The blacksmith is symbiotic with the senorita fish. When it feels that it is starting to deteriorate in hygiene it will turn until it is perpendicular to the ground. The senorita fish will then commence cleaning the blacksmith.


They can reach 30cm (12in) in length.

Physical Description

Blacksmiths have dark blue-black colored bodies with small black spots towards the tail and large scales. Young fish (to 5cm), are two-tone with a bluey-grey front and a brownish-orange rear. They have forked tails.


They are found in the eastern Pacific from Monterey Bay, California to Baja California, Mexico.


They live near to the sea bed over rocks, especially steep banks, to depths of 46m. They also inhabit kelp beds.


They eat marine algae and zooplankton.


The blacksmith rests in rocky crevices during the night. They are known to be territorial and, although small, act aggressively towards other fish. Young fish are pelagic and form schools.


Blacksmiths spawn during summer and autumn. The male cleans a nesting site, then herds a female to it. After spawning, the male guards the eggs until they hatch.

About the Author

Sean loves to fish in Southern California and this site is his journal of his adventures in fishing. He started fishing when he was a little guy with his dad David, and has continued to this day with his family. In his day job, Sean has been a graphic designer for over 15 years, designing everything from in-store displays and signage for supermarkets to e-commerce auction sites for an online consumer electronics company. He was a web and graphic designer then later an art director for McMullen Argus Publishing (Primedia), building and working on sites for Lowrider Magazine and Super Chevy, plus 30 other automotive magazine sites. Sean seized the opportunity to teach other aspiring designers - a passion that took him first to Learning Tree University and then to Golden West College in Huntington Beach, CA, where he has been an integral part of the renowned digital arts department for more than ten years. Throughout his teaching career, Sean maintained a freelance business, designing for clients including the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards), Image Comics and many more. See his work at