Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Family: TRIGLIDAE, Gurnards, Searobins

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head armoured, spiny
2 Ds
pectoral with 3 long, free rays



These scorpionfish relatives are small to medium sized fishes (10 cm to 1 m) are characterized by a large, squarish, bony head that has many ridges and spines; any snout projections are short; no barbells under chin; mouth opens at front or slightly under snout; teeth on jaws and roof of mouth simple; two separate dorsal fins, IX-XI + 11-14 segmented soft rays; pectoral fins short to long, with 3 enlarged, free rays at bottom of fin that are detached from main fin; body with rough scales, but no scutes (enlarged, spiny scales).

Triglids use the free pectoral rays to detect food in sand and rubble habitats. These fishes are capable of producing sounds with special muscles attached to their large air bladder. Triglids literally "walk" over the bottom using their pectoral "feelers". They feed mainly on molluscs and small crustaceans.

The family contains 11 genera and about 77 species inhabits all tropical and temperate seas from rocky shallows to considerable depths. There are 10 species in 2 genera in the eastern Pacific.