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Species: Synchiropus agassizii, Spotfin Dragonet

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D1: black blotch at rear, no long spines
D2 margin convex in male, straight in female
opercular spine - 2 points, curved up
back: irregular yellow bars
A: black stripe in both sexes

Synchiropus agassizii (Goode & Bean, 1888)

Spotfin Dragonet

Elongate, a little flattened; without fold of skin along side of abdomen; with a small mouth that points down when opened, top jaw protractile; preopercle with a large, wide-based spine, its tip curved up and with 2 points, but without spines on operculum; gill openings small, high on shoulder; 2 dorsal fins, IV flexible spines + 8 soft rays, 1st dorsal spine not elongated in males, edge of the 2nd dorsal gently convex in males, straight edges in females; anal fin with 7 rays, no spines; pectoral fins large, round, usually with an unbranched ray at front + 19-22 branched rays; pelvic fins inserted below the preopercular spine, large, reach past the origin of the anal fin in males; tail fin large, with filaments in males; lateral line complete, reaches do tail fin; no scales.

Body brillante orange red; rays of tail and pelvic fins yellow; back with irregular yellow-green bars; a large black blotch between the last dorsal spines; anal fin of both sexes with a black stripe (edged with brilliant orange) near its outer edge.

Reaches 25 cm.

Habitat: Sandy and muddly bottoms.

Depth range: 45-700 m.

From Canada to northern Brazil.

Note: Populations along northern S America probably represent 2-3 undescribed species (see Nakabo & Hartel, 1999).

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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
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continental primarily
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • 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)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 25
Depth Range Min
  • 45
Depth Range Max
  • 700