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Species: Lythrypnus heterochroma, Diphasic Goby

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head & nape: irregular orange bars
body orange, mid flank: 2 dark blue-black stripes
D1 - 1st 2 spines elongate in both sexes

Lythrypnus heterochroma Ginsburg, 1939

Diphasic Goby

Body relatively deep, compressed; head compressed, profile round; head without pores; front nostril a long tube, rear a raised rim; head without pores; papillae around mouth, on cheeks and operculum and over eye; mouth very oblique; tongue rounded at front; teeth in upper and lower jaws with a row of enlarged, spaced canines surrounding a broad band of tiny, elongate, pointed teeth; the teeth of the outer row are largest at the front corners of the mouth; gill opening narrow, ~pectoral base; gill membranes with 5 rays; dorsal fin VI, first 2 spines elongate, reaching to middle of tail fin in both sexes, + I, 8 (8-10); length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 8 (7-9); pectoral fin 15 (13-16), rays unbranched; pelvics I, 5, fused into disc; tail fin short, round, with 17 segmented rays; scales rough; body scaled except for chest and pectoral base, 24-25 (23-25) lateral rows, no scales on head or nape; no lateral line.

Front of body is crossed by dark bars which are interrupted on the mid-side and somewhat zig-zag in design, bars join on the top to form short saddles, saddles cross 2nd dorsal fin base; 2 thin dark stripes along side from level of the origin of 1st dorsal fin to the tail fin base; outer half of dorsal spines and rays spotted with dark red-brown; fins spotted with dark, poorly developed in pectoral and anal fins; anal fin with dark base; genital papillae, front nostril and lips dark.

Reaches 2.5 cm.

Depth range: 1.5-16 m.

Found in isolated coral heads under ledges.

The Bahamas to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Insular primarily
  • 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
  • 2.5
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 16