Cabezon are a scaleless fish with a flap of skin over their snouts and a branched flap of skin over both eyes. The head is very large in proportion to the rest of the body, which can grow up to three feet long. The dorsal fin has sharp spines, and the pectoral fin is large. Coloration is both multiple and mottled, anywhere from red to olive green to copper; males are more likely to be reddish and females to be greenish. Darker blotches cover the entire body, while the bellies are whitish. The mouth is lined with a bluish color, and the teeth are small.
Cabezon have a diet made up of mostly crabs, mollusks and fish, though will also eat fish eggs. They have been observed swallowing abalone whole, then spiting out an intact shell. They are effective ambush hunters whose coloring blends in with the reef; after lunging at their prey they engulf it whole.
Baja California, Mexico to Alaska
Cabezon inhabit reefs and other rocky areas, as well as kelp beds. They are usually solitary in nature, and spend a lot of their time sitting in holes, over reefs, in pools or among kelp blades.
- The eggs of cabezon are poisonous to humans and many other animals.
- In Spanish, cabezon means big-headed or stubborn.