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Species: Opistognathus nothus, Yellowmouth Jawfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head - brown spots
D spotted + black blotch spines IV-V
top jaw lining - black stripe
C: top & bottom borders yellow
rear top jaw rigid, points up

Opistognathus nothus Smith-Vaniz, 1997

Yellowmouth Jawfish

Elongate, compressed, tapering body; large bulbous head; eye large, high; front nostril a short tube without a cirrus; mouth terminal, large, extends well to rear of eye; rear of top jaw rigid, angular, tip points up, not ending in a flexible plate; front of roof of mouth without teeth; 26-32 gill rakers; fin spines flexible; dorsal and anal fins with long bases; dorsal X, 14, spines curved, tips slender, flexible; anal II, 13; pelvic fins I, 5, outer 2 rays stout and unbranched, inner 3 rays weaker and branched, fin base before the pectoral; tail rounded, shorter than head, ~25% of SL; lateral line on front half of body only, high; scales small, smooth, none on head, body with 44-54 oblique scale rows.

Head and body dark tan above, paler below; dark brown spots on head; dorsal fin with several rows of brown spots centered on fin spines and rays; a larger nearly black, horizontally elongate rectangle on membrane between spines IV-V and on spine V; yellow on lower lips at rear, and on inside top jaws; inner lining of top jaw and adjacent membrane with a black stripe; dorsal and anal fins with a yellow stripe near outer edge; tail fin with 2 yellow stripes, on top and bottom borders; pectorals and pelvics pale.

Reaches 7.9 cm SL.

Lives in burrows on sand and rubble bottoms.

Depth range: 92-100 m.

N Carolina to Cuba and Yucatan.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom 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
  • Brooded
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continental primarily
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 7.9
Depth Range Min
  • 92
Depth Range Max
  • 100