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Species: Hiatirhaphis cascajalensis, Cascajal Mosquitofish

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teeth curved
male: pelvic tips not swollen, pectoral 5th ray not scalloped
male sex organ - no fleshy palp, no recurved hooks on top of tip
A base: black blotch



Hiatirhaphis cascajalensis (Meek & Hildebrand, 1913)

Cascajal Mosquitofish

Head and body moderately robust, moderately compressed at rear; head depressed; front nostril not tubular; covering of eye not continuous with skin of head; mouth small, at front, slightly oblique, lower jaw slightly projecting, top jaw protractile; jaw teeth consist of an outer row of large backward curved teeth, and several rows of small pointed teeth; 12 gill rakers; 1 dorsal fin with short base, 7, at rear of body; anal fin 9, origin distinctly before dorsal fin origin; pelvic origin well behind pectoral base, near anal fin, tips of pelvics of males not swollen; pectorals high on flank, male with 5th ray not scalloped; 3rd anal ray unbranched; anal fin modified in male to form an elongate sex organ, tip of that organ curved slightly upwards, without club-like spines at tip, without a fleshy palp; tail base relatively narrow; tail fin rounded; scales smooth and relatively large, 26 in lateral series, 13 before dorsal fin.

Pale brown above, lighter below; operculum silvery, with a bluish tint; iris pale blue-green; dorsal and tail fins translucent; pelvic fins yellowish; anal fin of female and sex organ of male yellowish, with a large black blotch at the base; tip of dorsal fin black; a broad curved dark bar (often indistinct) at base of tail fin.

Reaches 7.5 cm.

Mainly in freshwater, but also occurs in brackish water.

Depth range: 0-2 m.

Costa Rica to Panama.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Insects
  • 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
  • Caribbean endemic
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 7.5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 2