Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Halieutichthys aculeatus, Atlantic Pancake Batfish, Pancake Batfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

no tubercles over eye
inner of 3 tubercles on shoulder: small, blunt
pectoral: 2-3 bars across whole fin
back: fine dark meshwork
tubercles small, sharp
tail base: sparse tubercles

Halieutichthys aculeatus (Mitchill, 1818)

Pancake Batfish, Atlantic Pancake Batfish

Head and body very depressed, greatly expanded to form a circular disc; tail moderately long; mouth very small; cavity on snout for lure very small, blocked by puffy folds of membrane; lure a single central bulb; a cover over pupils; buckler at angle of operculum not larger than adjacent bucklers; gill openings small, behind upper base of pectoral fin; gill rakers in form of tiny pads of teeth set on low stalks; dorsal and anal fins small, at rear of body; base of pectoral fins broadly attached to tail base; pelvic fins not reduced in size; lateral line complete, plus a pair of lateral line organs on base of tail behind anus, no tubercles associated with lateral line; scales are large, irregular, pitted tubercles; tail base with few, sparse tubercles; tubercles relatively small and sharp on upper body; tubercles rarely present above eye; triangle of 3 tubercles on side of each shoulder behind eye with innermost tubercle small and blunt; adults with no scales under body and large areas of top of body without scales.

Body greenish to light brown, with fine pale network on upper surface; pectorals with 2-3 thin dark bars across fin, outermost bar(s) entirely across fin. Juveniles similar to adults

Reaches 8.8 cm.

Lives on sand and mud bottoms.

Depth range: 5-611 m, mainly 50-150m.

W Atlantic: N Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico

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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
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • 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
  • 8.8
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 611