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Species: Otophidium omostigma, Polkadot Cusk-eel

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snout spine: short, sharp
opercle - black spot
upper body 2-3 rows spots
D edge - black blotches
opercle spine sharp

Otophidium omostigma (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882)

Polkadot Cusk-eel

Body relatively short, compressed, tapering to rear; head profile convex above; eye large; between eyes with thin crest under skin, leading to a short, sharp spine directed obliquely forward at ~45 degrees on snout; mouth large, under slightly overhanging snout; gill rakers: 2-3 rudiments above, 4 short rakers below; opercle with a strong, sharp, partly hidden spine; dorsal and anal fins confluent with pointed tail fin; dorsal fin 102-105; anal fin 82-85; tail fin 9; pelvic fin with 2 unequal rays, inserted under eye; lateral line incomplete; scales small, elongated, arranged in basketweave pattern, none on head.

Tan; a pupil sized black spot just above corner of opercle; 2-3 rows of black-brown blotches along upper body, upper rows meeting along upper midline of body, lower row along or below lateral line; dorsal fin with several black blotches along upper edge; anal fin broadly black along its base; tail pale.

Reaches 13 cm.

On soft bottoms.

Depth range: 10-50 m.

N Carolina to the E Caribbean, also in 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
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
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 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
  • 13
Depth Range Min
  • 10
Depth Range Max
  • 50