Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Bembrops macromma, Scaledeye Duckbill, Scaledeye Flathead

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

flank over A: 3 large dark spots
D1: front 2 membranes black
D2: outer 1/5 black
D2 14
LL ~56
C: rear ~1/3 black
A: female clear/thin outer stripe; male black margin
top jaw tentacle: short
eye: top scaled

Bembrops macromma Ginsburg, 1955

Scaledeye Duckbill, Scaledeye Flathead

Body relatively robust; head depressed; snout short (~eye); eye large, above, close-set; lower jaw strongly projecting, often with lower teeth exposed; top jawbone with a short (1.8 (0.7-2.7)% SL) rear tentacle; jaw teeth simple; teeth present on center and sides of roof of mouth; gill rakers 19-20 (16-21); 2 diverging spines at top of operculum, a 3rd at lower corner, with an elongate flap behind it, preoperculum with 2 broad spines at its angle; two dorsal fins, VI (front spines crowded), 2nd spine not elongate in male + 14; anal fin 0, 18 (17-19); pectoral fin long and wide, 25 (24-26) rays; pelvic fins I, 5, under operculum, wide between those fins; tail fin straight, with 10-11 branched rays; scales rough on head and body; lateral line arched at front; a spine at front of lateral line, a prominent keel on first few lateral line scales; lateral line 54-56 (53-60) scales; scales on top surface of eye, 25-30 in adults, fewer in juveniles.

Body with a series of 3 large elongate dark spots along mid-side between anus and end of dorsal fin base, 1st just below lateral line, others just above it, a 4th small spot at base of tail fin, on the same line as the 3 large spots; upper back with 3 narrow dark bars between the flank spots; first dorsal fin with black vertical bar at front across 1st 2 membranes, rarely part of 3rd, rarely a small black spot at base of fin behind 3rd spine; 2nd dorsal fin with outer 1/5 black; anal fin clear or with very thin black stripe in female, that of male with a broad black margin; tail fin with rear ¼-1/3 black.

Reaches 21 cm.

On the bottom.

Depth range: 150-550 m.

The Bahamas to the SW and NE Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • 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)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • No pelagic phase
  • Pelagic
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
  • 21
Depth Range Min
  • 150
Depth Range Max
  • 550