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Species: Lucifuga spelaeotes, Cave Brotula

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

rear top head - scales in center
eye 0.7-1.8% SL
D 86-109
A 66-82
C 10, fully connected to D&A
long gill rakers - dark

Lucifuga spelaeotes Cohen & Robins, 1970

Cave Brotula

Body elongate, tapering to a narrow tail base; head deep at rear, snout depressed, forehead profile concave; top of head cavernous; eye small (0.7-1.8% of SL), with a protruding lens; top jawbone vertically expanded at rear, a small downpointing knob near lower rear corner; male with a large fleshy pad on outside of mouth at tip of jaw; top jaw with 4-10 rows of teeth; center and sides of roof of mouth with 1-7 rows of teeth; no central tooth patch at bottom of gill arches; 15-23 gill rakers, 3 long rakers; no spine at lower angle of preopercle; dorsal fin 86-109, highest at rear; anal fin 66-82 rays; pectoral base broader than long, pectoral 18-20; tail fin fully connected with dorsal and anal fins; tail fin 10 rays; lateral line in 2 parts, shorter front part on upper side, lower part along midside, 12-19 + 30-47 pores; body covered with regularly overlapping scales; rear of top of head with scales in center but not sides, area between preopercular and lateral head canals covered with scales; male penis without bone-reinforced pseudoclaspers.

Uniform pale to overall dark reddish brown to blackish; dark fish with dorsal and anal fins light or with dark bases; lips and skin over cavernous parts of head may be clear to whitish grey; edges of vertical fins and pectorals and ventrals white to clear; long gill rakers dark.

Reaches 18 cm.

Lives in caves and sinkholes in total darkness; brackish water to marine.

Depth range: 0-28 m.

The Bahamas.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Near Bottom
  • Water column
  • Estuary
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Bahamas endemic
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Vulnerable
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 18
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 28