Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Lepophidium cultratum, Blackear Cusk-eel

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

opercle black
mouth, gill chamber & oesophagus: black
gill rakers 9-15 (0 rudiments)
D 128-137; A 105-114

Lepophidium cultratum Robins et al, 2012

Blackear Cusk-eel

Elongate, eel-like, tapering at rear to a point at tail, relatively short, stout; 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 – upper arm with 3-4 (2-5) rudiments, lower arm with 6-7 (5-8) developed rakers plus 0-3 (0-5) rudiments below, total 10-13 (9-15) rakers; dorsal and anal fins low, confluent with tail; dorsal fin 130-135 (128-137); anal fin 108-112 (105-114); pectorals on midside, 23-25 (21-26); 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.

Head & body brown, chest & belly white; opercle blackish (internal pigment); inside mouth, gill chamber & oesophagus black; edges of dorsal and anal fins dark; tail fin with dark center .

Reaches 33 cm.

On soft bottoms.

Depth range: 91-329 m.

The W Caribbean to French Guiana.

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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
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 33
Depth Range Min
  • 91
Depth Range Max
  • 329