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Species: Rypticus maculatus, Whitespotted Soapfish

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dark stripe through eye; back & side- scattered small pale spots
D II, 22-27
pores on lower jaw & preopercle: single, distinct

Rypticus maculatus Holbrook, 1855

Whitespotted Soapfish

Body elongate, very compressed; forehead oblique; snout long, 6-9% SL; 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; pores on lower jaw & preopercle singly arranged; 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-III (II), 22-27; anal fin 0, 13-17; pectoral rays 13-17; median fins thick, fleshy; rounded tail and pectoral fins; scales imbedded.

Body & upper head mid brown, pale along top of snout and nape; a dark brown stripe from mouth, through eye to top corner of operculum; scattered irregular whitish spots along back and sides; median fins pale.

Size: to 24 cm.

Inhabits rocky and coral reefs, jetties, oil platforms.

Depth: 3-100 m.

North Carolina to the S Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • 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 endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 24
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 100