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| Common names: soapfish (English), jabonero (Espanol) |
Rypticus bicolor Valenciennes, 1846
Mottled soapfish, Cortez soapfish
Elongate, very compressed; forehead oblique; prominently projecting lower jaw with fleshy knob at front; pores along ventral surface of lower jaw and margin of preopercle numerous, small, and occurring in patches (in specimens in excess of 65 mm SL); simple teeth in bands on jaws; 2 pairs of nostrils, anterior tubular; simple teeth in bands on jaws; 2-3 spines on preopercle; 3 spines on operculum; gill rakers 7-9 (usually 8); gill opening restricted above, most of upper part of operculum bound to body by skin; dorsal fin III (rarely II) spines, 23-26 rays; anal fin without spines, 16-18 rays; pectoral rays 14-17 (usually 16); median fins thick, fleshy; rounded tail and pectoral fins; scales imbedded.
Body brown, with numerous small cream or tan spots; small (under about 3 cm) juveniles with three narrow stripes behind eye extending posteriorly on side of body; 4-5 cm specimens with ocelli-type spots on side.
Size: to 30 cm.
Inhabits rocky reefs sheltering in caves and crevices, but also encountered in the open.
Depth: 0-70 m.
Southern Baja and the Gulf oCalifornia to Peru, including the Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos and Malpelo.
Closely related to R. saponaceus (Bloch & Schneider) from the western Atlantic.