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Species: Lepophidium pheromystax, Upsilon Cusk-eel

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

top jaw - black moustache
body: 2 regular rows large spots
D outer 1/2 - U shaped dark spots
D 127-130; A 106-108
upper rudiment gill rakers 2

Lepophidium pheromystax Robins, 1960

Upsilon Cusk-eel

Elongate, eel-like, tapering at rear to a point at tail; head low, compressed; snout with well developed, curved spine at front, no fringes under tip; eye large; mouth large, broad, nearly horizontal; teeth on jaws small, simple, in bands, outer ones larger; no tooth patch at lower front of gill arches; gill rakers 2 rudiments above, 4 (4-5) developed rakers then 2 (1-3) rudiments below, total 8-9; dorsal and anal fins low, confluent with tail; dorsal fin 127-130 (125-133); anal fin 106-108 (104-112); pectorals on midside, 20-21 (20-22); pelvics each of two small threads inserted under eye; scales round, small, in regular overlapping rows; head extensively covered with overlapping scales extending to between or before eyes, on cheeks and opercle; lateral line complete.

Yellow brown; a black spot on opercle; a black moustache on the lower half of the top jaw bone; inside mouth & gill chamber pale, oesophagus black; body with 2 regular rows of dark spots (largest about eye sized), upper row of ~15 round spots between dorsal fin base and pale lateral line, small spots between those large spots, lower row on flank under lateral line of alternating large and small spots; outer 1/2 of dorsal fin with series of ~19 U-shaped dark spots, with indistinct dark areas between and below those spots; anal fin dusky with black border.

Reaches 28 cm.

On soft bottoms.

Depth range: 27-316 m.

The SW Gulf of Mexico to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
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 South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 28
Depth Range Min
  • 27
Depth Range Max
  • 316