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