Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Genus: Xanthichthys, Sargassum Triggerfish, Triggerfishes

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

tail base - no ridges
mouth opens above, oblique
cheek with grooves
NO large bony scales behind operculum



Body an elongate oval, robust, compressed; cheeks scaly, with 3-6 scaleless oblique grooves; distinct groove before eye and below nostril; a small mouth that opens a little above center line of body, oblique, 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; dorsal fin III, 1st can be locked erect, 2nd > ½ the size of 1st, last (3rd) dorsal spine very small, under skin; 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; no ridges on tail base; thick leathery skin, with large plate-like, diagonally arranged scales; body scales somewhat separated, with dark pigment between them forming cross-hatched color pattern; no patch of enlarged scales immediately behind gill slit; lateral line inconspicuous.

A circumglobal genus except for eastern Atlantic, with 6 species; in our region there is one W Atlantic species.