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Species: Lythrypnus okapia, Okapi Goby

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nape 3 black saddles
lower head scattered black spots
D1 no elongate spines
5-8 narrow black bars
black spot covers pectoral base

Lythrypnus okapia Robins & Böhlke, 1964

Okapi Goby

Body relatively deep, compressed; head compressed, profile round; head without pores; papillae around mouth, on cheeks and operculum and over eye; front nostril a long tube, rear a raised rim; mouth very oblique; tongue rounded to pointed; gill opening narrow, ~pectoral base; gill membranes with 5 rays; dorsal fin VI (none elongate) + I, 8; length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 7; pectoral fins 14, all rays unbranched; pelvic fins I, 5, fused into disc; tail fin short, round, with 17 segmented rays; scales rough, body scaled except chest and pectoral base, 25-30 lateral rows, none on head and nape; no lateral line.

Five to eight narrow black bars (without a dark centerline) cross the body behind the pectoral fin to end of tail base, rear bars irregular and broken; dark line present or absent on pale interspaces between dark bars; head with 2-3 black saddles on nape and scattered black spots on lower half; a large black spot covers the entire pectoral-fin base including the bases of the rays.

Reaches only 1.7 cm.

Isolated coral heads.

Depth range 1.2 to 29 m.

Bermuda 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 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
  • 1.7
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 29