Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps, Tilefish, Great Northern Tilefish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body quadrangular, robust; head deep, square
prominent crest with flap on nape
operculum with blunt flap
blue-grey + yellow spots
C: 8-9 bars of yellow spots

Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps Goode & Bean, 1879

Tilefish, Great Northern Tilefish

Body robust, quadrangular; head relatively deep, squarish to rounded in profile; a large fleshy knob on nape a little before dorsal fin; operculum with a soft blunt tab instead of a spine; preoperculum serrated on vertical edge; a barbel on rear corner of top lip; gill rakers 22-26; dorsal fin VII, 15 rays; anal I, 14; tail fin with straight edge, upper and lower tips extended slightly; scales rough on body, smooth on head; pored lateral line scales 66-75.

Head blue-green, with pink tint; a light silver stripe under eye to upper operculum; cheek and chin white; back and side blue-grey, with small yellow spots; belly white; dorsal grey, spines and rays yellow; tail fin with 8-9 bars formed by fused yellow spots, dusky otherwise.

Reaches 125 cm; IGFA world record 25.54 kg.

Lives on sand and mud bottoms

Depth range: 81-1102 m, usually 100-200 m.

Nova Scotia to Surinam.

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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
  • Mud
  • 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)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Endangered
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 125
Depth Range Min
  • 81
Depth Range Max
  • 1102