Sea robins

The family of sea robins or gurnards (family Triglidae) is a group of species all of which are marine and are distributed throughout the tropical and temperate seas of the planet. All species of this family are benthic, so they live on the seabed. We can find species that live from more or less shallow waters up to almost 200 meters deep.

Sea robins are characterized by having an unusually solid head, and many species also have bony plates on the body. Another feature of this family of fishes is their ability to emit sounds. Using a muscle, they are able to drip with it the swim bladder thus emitting a noise similar to the croaking of a frog. As for the fins of this group of species, they have two dorsal fins clearly separated from each other, the first one formed by 7 to 11 spines and the second one with 10-23 soft rays. The anal fin may have one spine in some species and between 11 and 23 soft rays. The caudal fin has 9-10 branched rays. The pectoral fins are highly developed, resembling wings in many species. But undoubtedly the most characteristic feature of this family of species are the first three rays of the pectoral fins. During the development of the specimens, these first three rays separate from the rest of the pectoral fin, and are transformed into locomotor rays by specialized muscles and joints. Not only do they fulfill a locomotor function of these benthic specimens, but at their ends are located numerous chemical receptors that allow them to find their prey among the seafloor. The other characteristics of the species of the sea robins family are a mouth located in a lower terminal position, whose lower jaw never has barbels, and eyes slightly projected forward.

Sea robins are clasified within nine genera grouped in 3 subfamilies (Prionotinae, Pterygotriglinae and Triglinae) that include a total of 125 species...

  • Prionotinae. They are characterized by a non-bifurcated lateral line. They are present in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific Ocean. There are a total of 31 species grouped in two genera Bellator with 8 described species, and Prionotus with 23.
  • Pterygotriglinae. A total of 29 species are known which are classified in two genera, Pterygotrigla with 28 species, and Bovitrigla with only one described species.
  • Triglinae. In this subfamily we find 5 genera and a total of 65 species (Chelidonichthys - 9, Eutrigla - 1, Lepidotrigla - 53, Trigla - 1 and Trigloporus - 1).