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Species: Ogcocephalus parvus, Roughback Batfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

horn = short finger/ cone, tilted up
head high
tail & disc: dark spots
cheek: cream + orange ocelli
pectoral: 10-11, rays with pads, base - cream + lavender spots
body rough, strong bucklers

Ogcocephalus parvus Longley & Hildebrand, 1940

Roughback Batfish

Head raised relatively high; disc triangular; snout pointed, rostrum a finger to a short cone, usually tilted upwards; fish-lure with 3 fleshy points, in a small cavity under horn; eyes on sides of head; mouth relatively small (36-50% head depth); spine at lower rear corner of operculum blunt or little developed; 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, 10-11 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, bucklers very prominent giving a rough, broken, knobby surface; 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; 5-6 lateral line scales under operculum, 8 on cheek.

Color is variable: Gulf of Mexico: face and upper head and body dark brown; shoulders and in pectoral axil with large irregularly shaped lavender spots in a reticulum of cream lines; small black spots on tail and disc; cheeks with orange, brown-ringed spots in a mesh of cream lines; lips orange; iris gold, flecked with orange; pectorals orange, with broad black margins; tail fin with dark brown base, white center and orange margin. SE US: upper body bright tan, suffused with large patches of red-orange; dark, pale-ringed spots on shoulders and pectoral axil; dorsal fin orange; pectorals with an orange stripe inside the black margin. Guyana: upper surface very dark, with an irregular network of irregular spots on shoulders; tips of many bucklers orange; pectorals with orange bar inside black margin; lower surface bright orange; lips red; anal fin red, with a white stripe.

Reaches 10 cm.

Habitat soft bottoms.

Depth range: 29-360 m.

N Carolina 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
  • 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)
  • Continental primarily
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • 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
  • 10
Depth Range Min
  • 29
Depth Range Max
  • 360