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Species: Ogcocephalus rostellum, Palefin Batfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

horn: a shelf
shoulders: white + black spots & orange blotches
shoulder - cluster dark spots
large bucklers: radiating black lines
pectoral: 13, rays - no pads, yellow, orange edge

Ogcocephalus rostellum Bradbury, 1980

Palefin Batfish

Head depressed, relatively small; disc triangular, well flattened; snout pointed, rostrum very short, a small cone in juveniles, a shelf in large fish; fish-lure with 3 fleshy points, in a small cavity under horn; eyes on sides of head; mouth relatively small; 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 thin & without fleshy pads, fin membrane thin and translucent, 13 (11-15) rays; skin covered dorsal fin on tail, small fleshy anal fin, 3-4 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; 6-7 lateral line scales under operculum, 8 on cheek.

Upper surface medium brown, with white patches; dark mottling in pectoral axilla; fine black lines radiate from tips of large bucklers; an elongate cluster of round dark spots on each shoulder, with a few intense orange spots scattered amongst them; pectoral and tail fins with mottled brown bases, yellow centers and bright orange-red borders, and a narrow black margin; mouth bright red; iris rosy-brass with a circle of tan spots.

Reaches 19 cm.

Habitat soft bottoms.

Depth range: 13-378 m.

North Carolina to Florida.

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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)
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • 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
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 19
Depth Range Min
  • 13
Depth Range Max
  • 378