Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Lonchopisthus higmani, Spotcheek Jawfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

grey-brown, fins dark
operculum - oval black & white ocellus
D 18, A 17
C: 0 branched rays
membrane between jaws: black
longitudinal scales 47-56

Lonchopisthus higmani Mead, 1959

Spotcheek Jawfish

Elongate, compressed, tapering body; large bulbous head, eye large, high on side of head; mouth opens at front, large, extends to rear of eye; top jaw with rear end concave, a blunt notch on underside at rear; gill rakers 17-24+31-39; dorsal and anal fins with long bases; dorsal fin X-XI, 18 (17-19); anal fin III, 17 (14-18); pectoral 18-21; pelvic fins I, 5, outer 2 rays stout and unbranched, inner 3 rays weaker and branched, fin base before the pectoral, not elongated; tail fin much longer than head, sharply pointed, 0 (0-6) branched rays, no elongated free central fin rays; 47-56 longitudinal scale rows along body; cheeks scaled; lateral line on front half of body only, high.

Body grey-brown, paler below; several whitish bars at front of body, a series of scattered whitish blotches behind; all fins except pectoral dark; an oval black to dark grey, white ringed ocellus on operculum; inner membrane connecting top and bottom jaws black.

Reaches 19.7 cm.

Lives in burrows on muddy bottoms.

Depth range: 13-97 m, usually at 40-70 m.

The NW Caribbean to Suriname.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Brooded
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 19.7
Depth Range Min
  • 13
Depth Range Max
  • 97