Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Bullisichthys caribbaeus, Pugnose Bass

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout v short, forehead concave
D X, 13-14; no notch
black bar - nape to eye; black spots - front D & top tail base
anus nearer pelvics base than A

Bullisichthys caribbaeus Rivas, 1971

Pugnose Bass

Body elongate, compressed; head short, snout very short, concave; eye very large; opercle with 3 spines; front nostril tubular; rear of top jaw exposed when mouth closed; anus closer to insertion of pelvic fins than to anal fin; dorsal fin X, 13-14, no notch between spines and rays; anal fin III, 7; pelvics I, 5; lateral line complete, curves up under front of dorsal fin; scales rough, cover head, body and tail fin base.

Body pale pinkish grey, with whitish blotches; a vertical black bar through eye that continues obliquely back to the center of the nape; dorsal fin with a large black blotch covering the first 4 spines, rest of fin with horizontal rows of whitish spots, tips of spines yellow; a white bordered black spot on upper tail base and a matching white-bordered red-brown spot on lower tail base; tail fin with yellowish base and irregular thin pale brown bars; anal fin with rows of whitish spots; pelvis whitish, with clear stripes.

Reaches 7 cm.

Deep reefs.

Depth range: 81-548 m.

The Bahamas to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • 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)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • 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
  • 7
Depth Range Min
  • 81
Depth Range Max
  • 548