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Species: Varicus benthonis, Deepwater Goby

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

eyes very large, close-set
pelvics separate, rays 1-4 branched, no flat tips, fins reach anus
scales: 12 lateral, rear scales smooth/weakly rough
belly scaleless
D2 8; A 7
pectoral 16

Varicus benthonis (Ginsburg, 1953)

Deepwater Goby

Body compressed; head broad, somewhat flattened; head without pores; eyes very large, close together; most parts of head and nape with small numbers of papillae; anterior and posterior nostrils tubular, front one longer; tongue tip rounded; gill membranes broadly joined to body under throat, with 5 rays; dorsal fin VII + I, 8; length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 7; pectoral 16, pelvic fins I, 5, completely separate, rays 1-4 branch 1-2 times in outer half of ray, without flattened tips, 5th ray not branched, much shorter than 4th, < pelvic spine, fins long, reach to anus; head & front of body scaleless, scales extend forwards to mid-flank under 2nd dorsal ray 6, in lateral series 12, smooth in front, smooth to weakly rough at back, 2 large very rough scales on tail fin base; belly scaleless; no lateral line.

Preserved fish pale yellowish.

Reaches 3.5 cm.

Habitat: reefs.

Depth: 154-350 m.

SW Gulf of Mexico.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • In & Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
  • Gulf of Mexico endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 3.5
Depth Range Min
  • 154
Depth Range Max
  • 350