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Species: Syacium papillosum, Dusky flounder

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

eyes v wide apart
top eye well behind bottom eye
D 82-94; A 64-75
pectoral 3-4 dark bars
male: blue lines on head
male: long top pectoral rays
LL straight, 47-60

Syacium papillosum (Linnaeus, 1758)

Dusky flounder

Body an elongate oval, height 40-44% of SL; eyes on left side, lower distinctly before upper, wide apart (width between them >75% of diameter of lower eye, widest in males); head length 26-28% of SL; snout with a notch before top eye;  snout length 66 (54-74)% of distance from snout tip to top eye; mouth large, ends under middle lower eye; fixed teeth in 2 rows on upper jaw, 1 row on lower jaw, front teeth larger than side teeth; 82-94 dorsal rays; 64-75 anal rays; pectoral fins on both sides of body, with branched rays, eye-side pectoral with first 2 rays greatly elongate in male; pelvic fins symmetrically positioned on belly, base of eye-side fin on body midline, short bases; urinary papilla on blind side, immediately behind anus; scales rough on eye side, smooth on blind side; 47-60 lateral line scales; lateral line well developed on both sides, not extending onto head, relatively straight.

Eye side grey-brown, sometimes with dark blotches; blind side dusky; pectoral fin with 3-4 dark bars in both sexes; male with blue lines along snout  before upper eye, sometimes also on lips and lower jaw.

Size: 25 cm.

Habitat: sand and mud bottoms.

Depth: 4-150 m.

N Carolina to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • All species.
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • All species..
  • Continent
  • GC non-endemic
  • Extends North of GC
  • Also in Brazil
  • Extends South of GC
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 25
Depth Range Min
  • 4
Depth Range Max
  • 150