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Species: Ariomma regulus, Spotted Driftfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body oval (~40% SL)
eye > snout
body silver + spots; opercle, D1 & pelvics blackis
LL 50-60; scales between eyes to pupil

Ariomma regulus (Poey, 1868)

Spotted Driftfish

Body a deep (depth 39-45% SL) compressed oval; head long; snout short and blunt; eye large (> snout), covered with a fatty-tissue lid that extends to nostrils; mouth small, ends before eye, upper jaw almost completely covered by suborbital bone under eye; teeth tiny, conical, in a single row on jaws, lower teeth often with secondary points; no teeth on roof of mouth or on bases of gill arches; gill rakers slender, 7 + 6; operculum thin, with smooth edge; 2 dorsal fins that are almost not separated; first dorsal with XI long, slender spines that fold into a groove, second dorsal low, 14-15 rays; anal fin similar to second dorsal, 14-15 rays; pelvics inserted under or behind pectoral base, fold into a broad groove along belly midline; tail base short and slender, square in cross-section, with 2 low fleshy keels on base of tail fin; tail fin stiff and strongly forked; lateral line high along back, an extension forwards over eye; scales smooth, very thin and easily shed, 50-60 on lateral line; scales on head don’t extend forwards past level of pupil.

Adult: silvery to light brown, back with small dark spots; 1st dorsal, pelvics and opercles black; eyes golden. Young with 3-5 dark bars on body.

Reaches 20 cm.

Adults feed on the bottom, mainly around the edges of the continental shelf; juveniles inshore, often around flotsam.

Depth range: 0-500 m, juveniles near surface, adults below 100 m.

New Jersey to the Guyanas.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column
  • Flotsam
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 20
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 500