Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Bellator militaris, Horned Searobin

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout plates extended
body - 2-3 yellow stripes
C: 5 yellow stripes above
mouth short
pectoral: upper rays - black & white bars, reaches past A base
long spine over pectoral base
chest not scaled

Bellator militaris (Goode & Bean, 1896)

Horned Searobin

Spiny projections at front of snout thin and horn-like, with small spines at front, extend well past tip of snout; mouth short, not reaching under eye; main spine on preoperculum with smaller one at its base; spine behind operculum large, reaches past large spine on upper operculum; dorsal fin XI, 1st 2 spines very long in male, reaching past tail fin, 11-12; anal 11-12 (usually 11) rays; pectoral fins long,12 joined rays, reaching just past end of anal fin base, with 3 enlarged, free rays at bottom of fin; breast scaled, front of belly scaleless; 55-67 lateral line scales; membrane above opercular spine without scales; nape not scaled.

Upper 1/3 of head and body rosy red, body with 2-3 thin yellow stripes reaching to tail base; 1st dorsal red, with yellow spots, a small black spot between outer edges of spines IV-V, soft dorsal with 3 yellow stripes, usually a dark spot at base of last ray; upper pectoral rays with prominent black and white bars, lower ray blackish, rest of fin pink; tail fin with 5 yellow stripes above, red below.

Size: 16 cm.

Habitat: sand and mud bottoms.

Depth: 20-216 m, usually 20-73 m.

N Carolina to Venezuela, also in Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Pelagic fish eggs
  • Pelagic fish larvae
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • 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
  • 16
Depth Range Min
  • 20
Depth Range Max
  • 216