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Species: Callionymus bairdi, Lancer Dragonet

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

pale, mottled & spotted
lower head barred
D1: tall rectangle, female - black, male - yellow
C short, round
opercular spine - 3-9 teeth point up, 1 hook points forward below
D 9; A 8

Callionymus bairdi (Jordan, 1888)

Lancer Dragonet

Elongate, somewhat depressed; side of belly without a longitudinal skin fold; a small mouth that angles down when open, with a protrusible top jaw; eye large, directed to side; preoperculum with a large spine that has a lower, forward pointing spine and 3-9 spines along its upper, rear edge; but no spines or the operculum; gill openings small and high on the shoulder; two dorsal fins, IV flexible spines + 9 unbranched soft rays, all spines elongate, forming a flag-like fin; anal fin with 8 rays and no spines; pectorals large, rounded; pelvics insert under preopercular spine, large, reach past anal fin origin in males; tail fin relatively short, bluntly rounded; lateral line complete, extends onto tail fin; no scales.

Light grey with pale red-brown mottling; 1st dorsal fin of male yellowish grey, with reticulating dark lines and spots; 1st dorsal of female yellow on front 1/4, black on rear 3/4; yellow-brown centered bars on cheeks and jaws.

Reaches 11.4 cm.

Lives on sand/rubble bottoms around reefs and in seagrass beds.

Depth range: 1-91 m.

N Carolina to Brazil.

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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
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
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
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • 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)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 11.4
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 91