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Species: Lepophidium staurophor, Barred Cusk-eel

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upper body 4-5 black bars
D 5-6 black blotches

Lepophidium staurophor Robins, 1959

Barred Cusk-eel

Elongate, eel-like, tapering at rear to a point at tail; head low, compressed; snout with well developed, curved spine at front, no fringes under tip; eye large; mouth large, broad, nearly horizontal; teeth on jaws small, simple, in bands, outer ones larger; no tooth patch at lower front of gill arches; gill rakers 4 (3-4) rudiments above, 8 (7-8) developed rakers below, with 0 (0-3) rudiments below, total 12 (11-14); dorsal and anal fins low, confluent with tail; dorsal fin 142-145 (140-147); anal fin 120-125; pectorals on midside, 22-23; pelvics each of two small threads inserted under eye; scales round, small, in regular overlapping rows; head extensively covered with overlapping scales extending to between or before eyes, on cheeks and opercle; lateral line complete.

Tan to reddish; upper ½ - 2/3 of body with 4-5 broad black bars, the 1st 2 extending across dorsal fin as blackish blotches, 1st bar at front of dorsal fin, 2nd above anal fin origin, bars 4-6 usually encircle body; dorsal fin with 5-6 backish areas; dorsal and anal fins without black edges; lower half of tail fin black.

Reaches 28 cm.

On soft bottoms.

Depth range: 182-535 m.

The Gulf of Mexico to Nicaragua.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 28
Depth Range Min
  • 182
Depth Range Max
  • 535