Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Bembrops ocellatus, Ocellate Duckbill, Ocellate Flathead

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back: ~2 black saddles
D1 base blotch + tip I-III black
D2 outer 1/4 black, black base over body saddles
D2 16
A clear
C upper base ocellus/blotch + all edges black
top jaw tentacle short
LL 58-62

Bembrops ocellatus Thompson & Suttkus, 1998

Ocellate Duckbill, Ocellate Flathead

Snout short (~eye); eye large, above, close-set; lower jaw strongly projecting, often with lower teeth exposed; top jawbone with a short (2.6 (1.9-3.9)% SL) rear tentacle; jaw teeth simple; teeth present on center and sides of roof of mouth; gill rakers 20 (18-22); 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 + 16 (rarely 15 or 17); anal fin 0, 18 (16-19); pectoral fin long and wide, 26 (25-27) 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 60 (58-63) scales; top of eye scaleless.

Two (rarely 4) wide black saddles on back, 1 under rear part of soft dorsal, the other on the rear of the tail base; 1st dorsal with a triangular black blotch on outer part of membranes I-III, and a large black, half-moon shaped blotch on the basal part of membranes I-V; 2nd dorsal with a black outer stripe, and a black base above each of the two body saddles; upper base of tail fin of female with a black ocellus, with a black wedge in male, top, rear & bottom edges black; anal fin transparent in both sexes; pectorals & pelvics with dusky rays.

Reaches 22.5 cm.

On the bottom.

Depth range: 223-705 m.

The central Caribbean to Guyana.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Bathydemersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 22.5
Depth Range Min
  • 223
Depth Range Max
  • 705