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Species: Eleotris amblyopsis, Largescaled Spinycheek Sleeper

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body - no lines spotsc
scales before D 36 (29-46)
canines at rear
dark spot on upper pectoral base
lateral scales 49 (40-58)

Eleotris amblyopsis (Cope, 1871)

Largescaled Spinycheek Sleeper

Head broad, depressed; body robust; snout short; interorbital broad, 3 times eye diameter; mouth large, oblique, lower jaw projecting; upper jaw extending to middle or end of eye; several rows of fine teeth on jaws, with an outer row of large canines at rear, and/or in inner row where jaws meet at front of mouth; front nostril tubular overlapping upper lip, rear nostril an open pit; a strong, forward-pointing spine embedded in the skin at the lower rear corner of the preopercle; gill opening extends to below opercle; gill membranes broadly joined to throat, with 6 rays; dorsal fin VI + I, 8 (7-9), base of 2nd dorsal < distance from the end of that base to tail fin; pectoral 16 (15-18); anal fin I, 8 (7-8); pelvics I, 5, fins separate, no anterior membrane; scales mostly smooth at front, rough on body; predorsal scales 36 (29-46); 49 (40-58) scales in lateral series; top of head (except tip of snout), cheeks and opercle scaled, tiny scales between eyes; no lateral line.

Body dark brown laterally, lighter along the top or tan, with scattered spots on upper back, but no rows of spots on sides forming thin stripes; cheek with 2 dark stripes radiating posteriorly from eye; a large spot on upper pectoral-fin base, may be covered by the opercular membrane; 1st dorsal fin with dark stripe along base and another interrupted stripe through middle of fin; 2nd dorsal fin with 5 to 8 wavy diagonal stripes; anal fin dusky or with up to 7 wavy rows of spots; caudal fin with 10-14 bars formed by small spots on rays; pectoral fins with small spots on rays; pelvic fins with fewer rows of spots.

Reaches: 8.3 cm.

Habitat: adults in fresh water streams; juveniles in low salinity intertidal areas, and in hypersaline habitats.

Depth: 0-5 m.

N Carolina to Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Insects
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • 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)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 8.3
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5