Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Synodus intermedius, Sand Diver, Sand Diver Lizardfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

eye small
snout pointed
C: 3-5 bars across both lobes
9-13 dark hourglass bars, last bar inverted Y
black shoulder patch: small rectangle

Synodus intermedius (Agassiz, 1829)

Sand Diver, Sand Diver Lizardfish

Body relatively robust; snout long, pointed, triangular when viewed from above, longer than eye; eye relatively small (17.2% headlength); width between eyes 15.9% head; flap on front nostril wide & short (2.4 (1.5-3.6%) headlength), not tapering, not extending past rear nostril when depressed; mouth large, extending well past eye; lower jaw rounded at front, without fleshy knob at tip;many rows of fine pointed teeth on jaws, tongue and (in 1 band) on side of roof of mouth; fins without spines; one dorsal fin in mid-body, with a small skin-flap fin behind it above anal fin; dorsal fin 11-12, fairly low, front rays of fin don’t extend beyond back rays when fin is laid down; anal 11, length of anal fin base < than dorsal fin base; pectoral fin 11-13; pelvics on abdomen behind pectoral base, 8 rays, inner rays distinctly longer than outer rays; 51(49-55) scales on lateral line; scales before dorsal fin 16-17; scales between the lateral line and dorsal fin base 3.5; bases of short rays at top and bottom of tail fin completely scaleless.

Body with 9-13 brown bars that join a series of diamond shaped blotches along mid-side, short bars alternating with long bars that reach up to the top of the back, last bar is an inverted Y; often thin gold &/or blue lines along upper body; black blotch on shoulder at top corner of gill cover rectangular, relatively small (8.4 (5.1-12.2)% head); a broken white stripe along the lower flank under the dark diamonds; pelvic fins golden yellow, with darker pigment between rays; anal fin yellow; tail fin with 3-5 dark bars across both lobes of fin.

Size: 44 cm.

Habitat: shallow sand & mud bottoms; off beaches and in high salinity lagoons and creeks.

Depth: 1-320 m.

North Carolina to S Brazil.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Brackish
  • Hypersaline
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Estuary
  • Mangrove
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic 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)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 44
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 320