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Species: Lepophidium zophochir, Sooty Cusk-eel

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dark head & body
inside mouth & gill chamber black
pectorals dark

Lepophidium zophochir Robins et al, 2012

Sooty Cusk-eel

Elongate, eel-like, tapering at rear to a point at tail; head low, compressed; snout blunt, 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 (2-4) rudiments, lower arm with 5 (4-7) developed rakers plus 0-3 (0-5) rudiments below, total 10 (9-14) rakers; dorsal and anal fins low, confluent with tail; dorsal fin 132-137 (130-139); anal fin 111-114 (108-116); pectorals on midside, 22-24 (21-27); 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 dark brown; pectoral fin, opercle and top jaw black; inside mouth, gill chamber, throat and remainder of gut black; dorsal fin dark, with black edge; anal fin usually all black.

Reaches 26 cm.

On soft bottoms.

Depth range: 173-348 m.

The western Caribbean to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • In & Offshore
  • 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
  • Also in Brazil
  • 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
  • 26
Depth Range Min
  • 173
Depth Range Max
  • 348