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Species: Microdesmus luscus, Small-eyed Wormfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

pale tan
eye tiny, inconspicuous
D XIII, 37-38, origin before pectoral tip
A 35
D & A fully joined to C
gill opening large, not tubular
pectoral 13-14
scales well separated, body, belly, head, inconspicuous

Microdesmus luscus Dawson, 1977

Small-eyed Wormfish

Slender, wormlike, body height 3-9% of SL; eyes on side of head, minute, partly obscured; front nostril a short tube, rear nostril a tube, slightly longer than front nostril; mouth strongly oblique, lower jaw heavy, protruding; lips fleshy, broadly expanded towards rear, without elongate free flap at rear angle of gape; upper lip narrow in front; upper teeth in 2 rows, 9-10 slightly recurved caniniform teeth, well separated, inner row 15-16 smaller, pointed teeth; lower jaw with 5-6 close-set caniniform teeth at front, inner row of 20 slender, pointed teeth; gill opening large (not tubular), located at base of pectoral fin; one, long based continuous dorsal fin, XIII, 37-38, origin before tip of depressed pectoral fin; anal fin 0, 35; dorsal and anal fins united to caudal fin; pectoral fin 13-14, long, narrowly rounded; pelvic fins minute, I, 3; tail fin pointed; scales well separated, inconspicuous, about 20 in vertical series at the anal fin origin, some scales on head, & abdomen; no lateral line.

Preserved fish light tan; a scattering of tan melanophores on nape and upper 1/3 body; fins clear

Reaches: 4.8 cm.

Habitat: associated with rock or coral reef habitat.

Depth: 0-8 m.

E to SW 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)
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Caribbean endemic
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 4.8
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 8