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Species: Ogcocephalus nasutus, Shortnose Batfish

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horn variable: cone to long finger
body uniform to pale mesh around dark blotches
C dark, central pale bar
pectoral uniform color, 12-13, rays with pads

Ogcocephalus nasutus (Cuvier, 1829)

Shortnose Batfish

Head depressed; disc triangular; snout pointed, rostrum a well developed horn, very variable in length and contour (ranging from a short knob to a thick-based cone to long and finger-like), usually points up but tip may point down; fish-lure with 3 fleshy points, in a small cavity under horn; eyes on sides of head; mouth moderate, width 55-71% of head depth; spine at lower rear corner of operculum blunt; gill rakers are oval plates covered with small teeth; gill openings small, behind upper base of pectoral fin; dorsal and anal fins small, at rear of body; pectoral and pelvic fins limb-like; pectorals completely separated from body, skin on underside of rays thick and spongy, forming pads near tips of rays, fin membrane thick and opaque, 12-13 rays; skin covered dorsal fin on tail, small fleshy anal fin (usually 4 rays) under tail; top of body with large bucklers as well as conical spines; underside of body completely covered with pointed, bony scales, underside of tail densely covered with small prickles, with sometimes a few conical spines along midline; 7-8 lateral line scales under operculum, 3 above top jaw, 9 along cheek.

Color variable – blackish to grey-brown to pale grey to reddish brown above; may be uniform colored or with a network pattern (of dark, pale bordered blotches) of varying extent on face, in a narrow band along shoulders and along sides of tail base; pectoral fin of uniform color, sometimes with dark edges; tail fin dark, with a broad pale bar across its center; lips brown to reddish; rostrum usually with a diffuse dark ring near its tip; underside and mouth may be red.

Reaches 38 cm.

Habitat soft bottoms.

Depth range: 0-305 m.

S Florida to E Venezuela.

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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
  • Bony fishes
  • 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
  • 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)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 38
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 305