Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Symphurus caribbeanus, Caribbean Tonguefish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

9-15 bars; D & A dark bars; C clear/barred
gut cavity pale
D 89-96; A 74-80; C 12
inside eye-side operculum dark
no pupil cover
lateral scales 78-89

Symphurus caribbeanus Munroe, 1991

Caribbean Tonguefish

Body highly compressed, elongate, oval, tapers to pointed tail; head wide and short; snout pointed; eyes small, close together, lower eye smaller and slightly behind upper eye; no cover over pupils; mouth small, arched (strongly on blind side), at front or a little under snout; eye-side lower jaw without fleshy crest; both jaws on eye side without teeth or with them only on front 1/3; preopercle edge covered with skin; dorsal 89-96 rays, origin over or slightly before top eye; anal 74-80 rays; pectoral fins absent, represented by a fine membrane; only left pelvic fin present, 4 rays, on body midline, joined to anal fin by delicate membrane; dorsal and anal fins confluent with the pointed caudal fin; tail fin 12 rays; scales rough, on both sides; dorsal and anal fins without scales on blind side; 78-89 lateral scales; no lateral line.

Top side dark brown to yellowish; ~9-15 narrow, irregularly complete well defined dark bars on body and head; inner lining of operculum heavily pigmented on eye side; entire dorsal and anal pale with alternating dark and clear bars; tail fin clear or with alternating dark and clear bars along its length; lining of gut cavity pale.

Size: 14 cm.

Habitat: sand and mud bottoms.

Depth: 1-29 m.

The Caribbean.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • 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
  • 14
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 29