Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Opistognathus megalepis, Largescale Jawfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

fins - brown edges
inside mouth pale
D 11-12; A 11
front nostril: no cirrus
D spines thin, flexible
26-42 lateral scales

Opistognathus megalepis Smith-Vaniz, 1972

Largescale 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 28-36; fin spines flexible; dorsal and anal fins with long bases; dorsal XI-XII, 11-12, spines with tips flexible, curved, slender; anal III, 11; pelvic fins I, 5, fin base before the pectoral; tail rounded, much shorter than head; lateral line on front half of body only, high; scales small, smooth; cheeks often scaled; body scaled, 32-42 lateral scale rows.

Head, body and fins yellow, with a light greenish brown cast; rear 1/3 of anal fin brown; rear of tail fin brown; front of dorsal fin brown, rear of fin with brown border; inside mouth pale

Reaches 5.6 cm.

Lives on sand & rubble bottoms.

Depth range: 79-301 m.

The Bahamas to the NW and SE Caribbean.

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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
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
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
  • 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
  • 5.6
Depth Range Min
  • 79
Depth Range Max
  • 301