Rough Triggerfish, Canthidermis maculata
The Rough Triggerfish, Canthidermis maculata, whose common Spanish name is cochito manchado, is a species in the family Balistidae, the Triggerfishes, known as cochitos in Mexico. This fish is also known at the Spotted Oceanic Triggerfish. There are only three global members of the Canthidermis Genus, of which three are found in Mexican waters, one in the Atlantic, one in the Pacific and one in both oceans.
The Rough Triggerfish are an ocean pelagic species that is normally found far out at sea. They are normally only observed around floating debris such as logs but have been found at depths up to 360 feet. They reach a maximum length of 50 cm (20 inches) and weigh up to 2.4 kg (5.2 pounds). They are found in all Mexican waters of the Atlantic. In the Pacific they are found from Acapulco south along the coast of the mainland to Guatemala and around all the oceanic islands. I have caught a fish that was about 10 miles north of La Playita and 30 miles into the Sea of Cortez, and have juveniles collected off the southwest coast of Baja extending the known northerly range for this species. They are a rare, deep water species and little is known about their behavioral patterns.
The Rough Triggerfish is an easy fish to identify and cannot be confused with any other species.
The Rough Triggerfish are exceedingly rare and therefore of limited interest.
Rough Triggerfish, Canthidermis maculata: Fish caught off the surface 10 miles north of Puerto Los Cabos, Baja Californa Sur, October 2003, with a hoop net. It was a part of a massive school mixed about 50:50 with Pacific Tripletails under a very large floating tree. The fish were brought to the surface and became “balled up” in a group of about 500, fighting over chummed sardines. Length: 25 cm (10 inches). Fish identification courtesy of Dr. Ross Robertson, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama.