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Species: Rypticus subbifrenatus, Spotted Soapfish

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brown body & fins
on and just behind top of eye: 2 spots
row spots behind center eye
D III-IV, 22
adult: few spots, mainly front of body
no/few spots: belly & fins

Rypticus subbifrenatus Gill, 1861

Spotted Soapfish

Body elongate, very compressed; forehead oblique; 2 pairs of nostrils, anterior tubular; lower jaw prominently projecting lower jaw with a fleshy knob at front; rear of top jaw exposed when mouth closed, without accessory bone above it; pores on lower jaw in patches; simple teeth in bands on jaws; 1-3 spines on preopercle; 3 spines on operculum; gill opening restricted above, most of upper part of operculum bound to body by skin; gill rakers 9 (6-11); dorsal fin III-IV, 22 (21-25); anal fin 0, 14 (11-15); pectoral rays 16 (13-16); median fins thick, fleshy; rounded tail and pectoral fins; scales imbedded.

Head and body brown, sometimes a faint yellow tint to head; fins the same color or darker than the body; in young adults pectoral and vertical fins with a narrow yellow edge; one spot on top part of eye, a second spot immediately above and behind the first, touching the upper border of the eye; often a dark stripe or row of large spots behind the center of the eye; body varies from few to numerous dark spots, those smaller in larger fish; belly usually without spots; tail fin usually without spots, but 1 or 2 sometimes on its base; a few small spots sometimes present on dorsal and anal fins.

Size: to 18 cm.

Inhabits shallow patch reefs, tide pools, shallow spur and groove formations.

Depth: 0-30 m, usually in 1-2 m.

The E and W Atlantic; Bermuda to southern Brazil.

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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 non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • 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
  • 18
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 30