IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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  Common names: triggerfish (English), gatillo (Espanol), pejepuerco (Espanol), cochito (Espanol), chancho (Espanol)
Xanthichthys mento (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882)

Redtail triggerfish,     Crosshatch triggerfish

Body an elongate oval, robust, compressed;  cheeks scaly, with 5 scaleless oblique grooves; distinct groove before eye and below nostril; a small mouth that opens a little above center line of body, lower jaw projecting, with powerful jaws made up of 8 heavy, outer teeth on the upper and lower jaws, teeth notched, uneven in size; gill opening a short slit on side before pectoral base; III dorsal spines, 1st  can be locked erect, 2nd  > ½ the size of 1st, last (3rd) dorsal spine very small, under skin; dorsal III, 29-32; anal 26-29; pectoral 12-14; front rays of soft dorsal and anal fins higher than rear rays; most rays of dorsal, anal and pectoral fins branched; pelvic fins externally reduced to 4 pairs of large scales encasing end of pelvis; tail strongly concave;  thick leathery skin with large plate-like, diagonally arranged scales; body scales somewhat separated, no patch of enlarged scales immediately behind gill slit; lateral line inconspicuous.

Female  pale blue grey to yellowish brown or tan, scale outlines narrowly blackish, producing cross-hatched appearance; outer edge of dorsal and anal broadly orange; tail fin edged with yellow; male  like female but with outer edge of second dorsal and anal fins of broadly yellow, tail fin edged with red; upper head and body pearly grey when mating.

Size: reaches 30 cm.

Habitat: rocky and coral reefs.

Depth: 0-100 m.

Scattered localities in the Pacific Ocean including Ryukyu and Izu Islands, Marcus Island, Hawaiian Islands, Pitcairn Island, and Easter Island; in the tropical eastern Pacific it is known from all the offshore islands (being most common at the Revillagigedos), southern California, Guadalupe, Alijos Rocks, the tip of Baja,  and Gorgona Island (Colombia).


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Shorefishes of the tropical eastern Pacific online information system. www.stri.org/sftep

Source: Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Online Information System

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