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Species: Chilomycterus reticulatus, Spotfin burrfish

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spines few, short, immovable, 1-2 atop tail base
head, body & fins: black spots
juv: blue, spots larger & sparser

Chilomycterus reticulatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Spotfin burrfish

Body rotund, can be inflated; head wide and blunt; eyes large; nasal organ an open pitted cup (in juveniles a tentacle with 2 openings); teeth fused into a strong, parrot-like beak with two plates that lack a front groove, large, opens widely at front; gill opening a vertical slit before pectoral base; pectorals large; fins without spines; no pelvic fins; dorsal rays 12-14; anal rays 11-14; pectoral rays 19-22; tail fin with 10 rays; body and head covered with relatively few,short (< eye), fixed, 3-rooted spines (4 roots on head) that are triangular and flattened in cross-section, and, in some cases reduced to plates under skin, ~ 8-10 in an approximate row from snout to dorsal fin; top of tail base with 1-2 spines.

Grey on back grading to whitish ventrally; scattered black spots on head and upper body; small dark spots on median fins; also several diffuse, dusky brown bars on head and body; no thin dark lines on body. Juvenile: similar to adult, but with a blue cast to body, body spots larger and sparser, fin spots restricted to fin bases.

Size: grows to about 75 cm; the young lead a pelagic existence until about 20 cm.

Inhabits coral and rocky reefs, but also trawled on soft bottoms.

Depth: 1-141 m.

Circumtropical and with a largely temperate distribution; California to the Baja, and the southwest and central eastern Gulf of California to Chile, and all the oceanic islands except Clipperton.


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Salinity
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
Inshore/Offshore
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
Habitat
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Rocks
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Corals
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef and soft bottom
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
Diet
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Data
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • East Pacific + all Atlantic (East+West)
  • East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West)
  • All Pacific (West + Central + East)
  • Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America)
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
  • TEP non-endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Island (s)
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
Residency
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
CITES
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 75
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 141