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Species: Synchiropus goodenbeani, Palefin Dragonet

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head short
D1: no spot in adult; male: 1st spine filamentous
D2 edge concave in both sexes
side: 2 wavy yellow lines
opercular spine - 2 points, curved up
A stripe: female black, male red

Synchiropus goodenbeani Nakabo & Hartel, 1999

Palefin Dragonet

Elongate, somewhat depressed; no skin fold along side of belly; head relatively short (length before dorsal fin 22-32% SL); a large, up-curved, two-pointed spine on the preoperculum, but no spines or the operculum; a small mouth that angles down when open, with a protrusible top jaw; gill openings that are small and high on the shoulder; two dorsal fins, IV flexible spines + 8 soft rays, 1st dorsal spine elongate and filamentous in male, edge of 2nd dorsal slightly concave in both sexes; anal fin with 7 rays and no spines; pectorals large, rounded, usually 2 unbranched + 18-21 branched rays; pelvics insert under preopercular spine, large, reach past anal fin origin in males; tail fin long, with filaments in males; lateral line complete, extends onto tail fin; no scales.

Reddish above, white below; 2 wavy yellow lines along sides; first dorsal fin yellow, with a small dark spot between last two dorsal fin spines in juveniles, fin without spot in large fish; 2nd dorsal fin with several irregular rows of yellow spots; anal fin with black stripe near outer edge in female red stripe in male.

Reaches 30 cm.

Lives on soft bottoms.

Depth range: 47-396 m.

Massachusetts to the Gulf of Mexico.

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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
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30
Depth Range Min
  • 47
Depth Range Max
  • 396