Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Bellator xenisma, Splitnose searobin

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout: long plates
D: 1st spine long, red + rear ocellus
C red + 2 thin white bars
preopercular crest: 2 rear spines
pectoral brown to grey

Bellator xenisma (Jordan & Bollman, 1890)

Splitnose searobin

A large, squarish, bony head that has many ridges and spines; snout plates prolonged, forming a "scalloped" shovel-shaped extension on each side of snout tip; preopercular crest with 2 rear spines; a strong spine projecting laterally from cheek bone; narrow between eyes; mouth opens at front or slightly under snout; teeth on jaws and roof of mouth simple; two separate dorsal fins, X-XI + 10-11, 1st  spine longest, about half of head length; anal rays 11; pectoral fins short, 24-39 percent of SL, reaching origin of anal fin, 12 rays, with 2-3 enlarged, free rays at bottom;  body with rough scales; rear flap of operculum without scales; nape not scaled;  breast and belly with small scales; pored lateral-line scales 35-40.

Head and upper body mottled reddish brown; 1st dorsal fin red, a rominent blue-black ocellus at rear; 2nd dorsal white + 2 red stripes; anal fin pale; tail fin reddish with two narrow white bars; pectorals red-brown to dark grey.

Size: reaches at least 12.5 cm.

Inhabits sand-mud bottoms of trawling grounds.

Depth: 17-200 m.

The Gulf of California to Ecuador.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Zooplankton
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Continent only
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • All species
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 12.5
Depth Range Min
  • 17
Depth Range Max
  • 200