Male sheephead motion blur

Motion blur of two male sheephead swimming around a soft coral covered rock off Santa Barbara Island, California

Like many wrasse species, sheephead are protogynous. All are born female, and the largest individuals become male due to hormonal changes triggered by social cues. The two sexes have extremely different appearances. Male sheephead are larger than females, with black head and tail and red mid-section, red eyes, and fleshy forehead bumps. Female sheephead are dull pink with white undersides.