Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Opistognathus leprocarus, Roughcheek Jawfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

yellow + 2 lavender stripes
D, C & A: blue & yellow
opercle: black triangle in white Y
front nostril: short tube, no cirrus
D spines straight, strong
cheeks all scaled

Opistognathus leprocarus Smith-Vaniz, 1997

Roughcheek Jawfish

Elongate, compressed, tapering body; large bulbous head; eye large, high; front nostril a short tube, without a cirrus; mouth terminal, large, extends well behind eye, its rear end straight, rigid, without a thin, flexible extension; top jaw not sexually dimporphic; gill rakers 46-53; fin spines flexible; dorsal and anal fins with long bases; dorsal X-XI, 11-13, spines with tips ridgid, straight, sharp; anal III, 11-12; pelvic fins I, 5, fin base before the pectoral, fins very long (39-49% SL in adults); tail rounded, much shorter than head; lateral line on front half of body only, high; scales small, smooth; nape completely scaled; cheeks completely scaled, 4-5 rows of scales, body completely scaled including pectoral base, breast & belly.

Head and body bright yellow; sides of body with 3 broken lavender stripes, lowest stripe poorly developed; top of back with 4-5 broad yellow blotches extending onto dorsal fin, those blotches separated by narrow lavender bars; nape & between eyes lavender blue; eye with inner gold ring, outer green-blue margin, ringed outside with lavender; operculum with a prominent blackish wedge down rear edge of preopercle; edges of preopercle and opercle, throat, pectoral base and belly white; no dark color inside mouth; dorsal fin with broad blue central stripe, bordered above by narrow yellow stripe that breaks into yellow spots at rear, outer margin of fin narrowly blue; anal fin base with yellow stripe & blue spots, outer half lavender; tail fin yellow basally, most of fin blue; pelvics bright white; pectorals clear.

Reaches 7.8 cm.

Lives on sand & rubble bottoms.

Depth range: 165-308 m.

The Bahamas to the eastern 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
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Brooded
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
Regional Endemism
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 7.8
Depth Range Min
  • 165
Depth Range Max
  • 308