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Species: Lepophidium marmoratum, Marbled Cusk-eel

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head & back: rows dark spots
in mouth and gill chamber dark

Lepophidium marmoratum (Goode & Bean, 1885)

Marbled Cusk-eel

Elongate, eel-like, tapering at rear to a point at tail; 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 2-3 rudiments, lower arm with 4 (4-5) developed rakers plus 1-3 rudiments below, total 8-9 rakers; dorsal and anal fins low, confluent with tail; dorsal fin 117-122; anal fin 95-101; pectorals on midside, 21-22 (20-23); 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 pale tan; nape with dark brown spots; 1-2 rows of dark spots along upper side, above & below lateral line; rear of mouth dusky, gill chamber dark, gill arches speckled, pale behind them; entire gut black; dorsal and anal fins with black edge, that of dorsal may be interrupted.

Reaches 23 cm.

On soft bottoms.

Depth range: 155-516 m.

The Bahamas to the central Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
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 endemic
  • Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America)
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • 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
  • 23
Depth Range Min
  • 155
Depth Range Max
  • 516