Chevron Searobin

Chevron Searobin, Bellator loxias

The Chevron Searobin, Bellator loxias, whose common Spanish name is vaca angelita, is a species in the Searobin or Triglidae Family, known collectively as rubios and vacas in Mexico. Globally, there are only eight species in the genus Bellator, six of which are found in Mexican waters, three in the Atlantic and three in the Pacific.

The Chevron Searobins have rectangular block-like bodies that are mottled reddish brown with white undersides. Their large square bony head is covered with many ridges and spines. Their anal and pelvic fins are transparent, their caudal fin has three dark chevron bars, their first dorsal fin is clear with brown dots and a prominent ocellus spot between the fourth and fifth dorsal spines, their second dorsal fin has two or three dusky stripes, and their pectoral fins are red. They have a series of diagonal red and yellow bars on their upper sides, giving rise to their common name. Their mouth is small and their jaw does not reach eye level. Their snout has a pair of very short snout plates on each side of the snout tip. They have two separated dorsal fins with 10 or 11 spines and 10 or 11 rays with the first spine being the longest and having a serrated front edge (a key to identification). Their pectoral fins are short, but reach the anal fin origin, and have two or 3 free detached rays at the bottom of the fin. Their body is covered with rough scales.

The Chevron Searobins are found over and within sandy and muddy bottoms at depths between 65 and 190 feet. They are more active and feed at night; during the day they are found submerged in sand.  They reach a maximum length of 15.0 cm (5.9 inches).

In Mexican waters the Chevron Searobins are found from Guerrero Negro southward along the central and southwest coasts of Baja, throughout the Sea of Cortez, and along the coast of the mainland south to Guatemala.

The Chevron Searobin is most likely confused with the Nakedbelly Searobin, Bellator gymnostethus (short first dorsal spine) or the Splitnose Searobin, Bellator xenisma (snout with long plates).

Due to their size and rarity, the Chevron Searobins are of limited interest to most. They are a frequent by-catch of deepwater shrimp trawlers around the tip of Baja.

Chevron Searobin

Chevron Searobin, Bellator loxias. Fish provided by the commercial fishermen of the greater Los Cabos area, Baja California Sur, June 2009. Length: 11 cm (4.3 inches).