Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Psenes cyanophrys, Freckled Driftfish, Striped Driftfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

oval (juvenile deep)
body firm
D (2 parts) 23-28; bases not translucent
adult: thin stripes
juv- translucent, silvery
top & bottom teeth small, cónical

Psenes cyanophrys Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1833

Freckled Driftfish, Striped Driftfish

Body oval, deeper in juveniles, compressed, firm; snout blunt; eye large, with a fatty ring around it; operculum thin, with 2 short spines; mouth small, operns at front; jaw teeth small, conical, in 1 row, upper and lower teeth similar form and size; teeth on front and sides of roof of mouth, and base of gill arches, none on tongue; 2 scarcely separate dorsal fins, IX-XI + I, 23-28, spines shorter than rays, its origin before, or, in large specimens, over pectoral origin; pectoral fins long and wing-like, with oblique bases, bluntly pointed,17-20 rays; anal fin II weak spines, 23-28; pelvic fins originate under pectoral base, attached to the abdomen, fold into a groove; tail fin deeply forked; branched mucous canal system under thin skin along midline of flank; scales tiny, very thin, cover bases of median fins, on top of head in a narrow band, reach only to between eyes; lateral line high on body.

Adult: yellowish with dark longitudinal lines along side. Juvenile: translucent whitish with silvery head and abdomen.

Size: grows to at least 20 cm.

Inhabits surface layers of the high seas; young are associated with drifting jellyfish and floating Sargassum.

Depth: 0-550 m.

Worldwide in temperate and tropical seas; S Carolina to southern Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
  • Flotsam
  • Jellyfish
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathypelagic
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Bony fishes
  • Pelagic fish larvae
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 20
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 550