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Species: Rypticus bistrispinus, Freckled Soapfish

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dark above, pale below, + dense small dark spots
D II, 24-27

Rypticus bistrispinus (Mitchill, 1818)

Freckled Soapfish

Body elongate, very compressed; forehead oblique; 2 pairs of nostrils, anterior tubular; lower jaw projecting; rear of top jaw exposed when mouth closed, without accessory bone above it; no knob at front of chin; simple teeth in bands on jaws; gill opening restricted above, most of upper part of operculum bound to body by skin; preopercle and opercle each with 3 spines; 7-9 gill rakers; dorsal fin II, 24-27; anal fin 0, 15-17; median fins thick, fleshy; rounded tail and pectoral fins; scales imbedded.

A broad dark area that begins as a stripe through snout and eye and broadens and pales as it extends along upper back to rear of dorsal fin; pale yellowish grey below this stripe and pale grey on top snout, nape and upper back; many densely packed small dark brown spots that from a network pattern on head and body; front of dorsal pale, rear of dorsal and tail mid-brown.

Size: to 15 cm.

Inhabits sand, rubble and seagrass beds, where it uses dead conch shells and burrows under rocks; more common at islands than the continent.

Depth: 2-100 m.

South Carolina to southern Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Bivalves & sea cucumbers
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • 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 non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • 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
  • 15
Depth Range Min
  • 2
Depth Range Max
  • 100