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Species: Erotelis smaragdus, Emerald Sleeper

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head depressed, top profile ~striaght, scaled
C: broad, round, many short spines at base
top pectoral base - dark spot
preoperculum: hidden spine
scales smooth, laterals 90-110

Erotelis smaragdus (Valenciennes, 1837)

Emerald Sleeper

Body elongate, robust; head depressed, wide, scaly; snout short, blunt; mouth oblique; upper jaw ending at middle of eye; teeth in jaws small conical, in bands, outer row slightly larger; tongue rounded; preoperculum with concealed hook at its lower rear corner; gill membranes broadly joined to throat, with 6 rays; 2 separate dorsal fins, VI weak spines + I, 10-12, base of 2nd dorsal < distance from the end of that base to tail fin; anal fin I, 9; pelvic fins I, 5, long, completely separate; tail fin broadly rounded, with many short but obvious, spiny rays at the top and bottom of its base; scales small, smooth, 90-110 in lateral series; no lateral line.

Blackish brown with a greenish sheen on top and tan color on bottom; dark spot on upper pectoral fin base; dorsal fins with several dark stripes; tail and anal fins dark.

Reaches: 20.0 cm.

Habitat: demersal; brackish; marine Inhabits sandy to marl bottoms in full-salinity coastal waters and mangrove areas.

Depth: 0-5 m.

North Carolina and Gulf of Mexico to Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Mangrove
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Detritivore
  • Data
  • Detritus
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)
  • Continental primarily
  • 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
  • 20
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5