IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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Description

  Common names: triggerfish (English), cochi (Espanol), pejepuerco (Espanol), chancho (Espanol)
 
Balistes polylepis Steindachner, 1876


Fine-scale triggerfish


Body oblong, relatively deep, robust, compressed;  cheeks without longitudinal grooves; distinct groove before eye and below nostril; a small mouth that opens at the front, with powerful jaws made up of 8 heavy, outer teeth on the upper and lower jaws, teeth deeply notched, central teeth longest; gill opening a short slit on side before pectoral base; III dorsal spines, 1st  can be locked erect, 2nd  > ½ the size of 1st; dorsal rays III + 26-28; anal rays 24-26; pectoral rays 13- 15; front rays of 2nd  dorsal and anal fins much longer than rear rays; most rays of dorsal, anal and pectoral fins branched; tail base compressed, without spines, tubercles or ridges; tail fin concave or doubly concave, with prolonged lobes; pelvic fins externally reduced to 4 pairs of large scales encasing end of pelvis; thick leathery skin, with regularly arranged diagonal scale plates; snout completely scaled; a group of large, partly separated bony scales that form a thick membrane immediately behind gill opening; lateral line inconspicuous.


Plain olive brown to pale blue grey, without distinguishing marks.


Size: attains a length of 80 cm.

Inhabits rocky reefs, often seen over adjacent sand or rubble areas; sometimes found in aggregations.


Depth: 3-512 m.

Northern California to the Gulf of California to Chile and all the offshore islands. Also occurs in Hawaii, where it may be establishing a population; seen in the Marquesas Islands in 1999.
   

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© 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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