Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Eleotris picta, Spotted Sleeper

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juv: pale above, dark below
no canines
NO dark spot on upper pectoral base
lateral scales 60-68

Eleotris picta Kner, 1863

Spotted Sleeper

Elongate, stout body; head broad, depressed; small eyes; a distinct knob at front and rear angles of eye; snout short, blunt; mouth large, broad, very oblique, lower jaw strongly protruding; teeth small, conical, no canines, in several rows on jaws; a strong, forward-pointing spine embedded in the skin at the lower rear corner of the preopercle; gill membranes broadly joined to throat, with 6 rays; two separate dorsal fins, V-VI + I, 7-8, base of 2nd dorsal < distance from the end of that base to tail fin; pectoral fin 18; anal fin I, 7-8; pelvics I, 5, long, completely separated; tail base long; tail fin round; scales small, 60-68 along side, 21-26 rows between origin of 2nd dorsal and anal fin base, 33-40 rows around tail base, smooth at front, rough at rear; top of head (except tip of snout), cheeks and opercle scaled; tiny scales between eyes; no lateral line.

Head, body and fins dark blackish to greenish brown, with a paler belly; no dark spot on upper pectoral base. Juveniles with the lower 2/3 of the head, body and tail fin dark blackish brown; the top of the head and back are cream.

Size: reaches 53 cm.

Habitat: adults of these fishes are largely restricted to freshwater; juveniles are often found in low salinity intertidal areas of river mouths.

Depth: 0-5 m.

Native to the tropical eastern Pacific; found in Caribbean Panama & Venezuela, where it was probably introduced in ballast water.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • Mangrove
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Exotic (Introduced)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Exotic (Introduced)
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 53
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5