Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Cyclichthys spilostylus, Spotbase burrfish, Yellow-spotted burrfish

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short, immovable spines
fins without spots
tail base without spines

Cyclichthys spilostylus (Leis & Randall, 1982)

Yellow-spotted burrfish, Spotbase burrfish

Body relatively slendert, inflatable; head wide and blunt; eyes large;  nasal organ a short tube with 2 openings; teeth fused into a strong, parrot-like beak that lacks 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 fin high and round, 12-13 rays; anal 10-12 rays; pectoral angular, 20-22 rays; tail fin with 9 rays; body and head covered with numerous short (< eye), fixed, 3-4 rooted spines that are triangular and flattened in cross-section, and, in some cases reduced to plates under skin, no spines on tail base;  ~ 15 spines between snout and dorsal fin; pelagic juveniles with fleshy tentacle at base of each spine.

Dark brown to grey-brown above, shading to white below; base of each spine on back in white spot, on sides in a yellow spot, on belly in a black spot, spots ~ pupil size; spines yellow; fins dusky, without spots; pelagic juveniles- eye-size black spots scattered over body.

Size 41 cm.

Habitat: reefs, algal beds, sand; possibly nocturnal.   

Depth 5-90 m.

Indo-Pacific; vagrant in the Galapagos.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Rocks
  • Reef and soft bottom
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • West + East Pacific (but not Central)
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
  • TEP non-endemic
  • All species
  • Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans)
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s) only
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • All species
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 41
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 90