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| Common names: bass (English), mero (Espanol) |
Dermatolepis dermatolepis (Boulenger, 1895)
Body deep (deepest at origin of dorsal fin), strongly compressed; snout much longer than eye; forehead profile oblique, steep; rear nostrils 2-3 times larger than front nostrils; preopercle finely serrated; gill rakers on first arch 21-24; dorsal fin with XI spines, 18-20 rays, membranes only slightly notched between spines; anal rays III, 9; pectoral rays 19-20, fins rounded, distinctly longer than pelvics; tail fin with straight edge; body scales smooth.
Alternating dark grey to blackish and white to light grey bars overlain with numerous white to pale blotches; fin margins narrowly yellow; juveniles with numerous small dark spots on cheek and gill cover and dark bars on body.
Size: grows to 100 cm; at least 12.5 kg.
Inhabits rocky and coral reefs, small juveniles may shelter among the long spines of the sea urchins Centrostephanus and Diadema.
Depth: 5-40 m.
Southern California to the central Gulf of California to Ecuador and all the oceanic islands.