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Species: Opistognathus schrieri, Curacao Jawfish

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body: 5 bars
top jaw: rear expansion - white + black bar
C, A & pelvics - yellow edges
D yellow & white, front black blotch, base 4 brown/black blotches
in mouth: rear black, white & yellow
pectoral base white

Opistognathus schrieri Smith-Vaniz, 2017

Curacao Jawfish

Elongate, compressed, tapering body; large bulbous head; eye large, high; front nostril with a simple tube, no cirrus; mouth terminal, large, extends well to rear of eye; top jaw bone truncate at rear, with a slightly flexible lamina, supramaxilla bone large, triangular, above rear of top jaw bone; gill rakers 8-9+23-25; fin spines flexible; dorsal and anal fins with long bases; dorsal X, 13-14, anal II,13; pectorals 20; pelvic fins I, 5, outer 2 rays stout and unbranched, inner 3 rays weaker and branched, fin base before the pectoral; tail rounded, much shorter than head; lateral line on front half of body only, high; scales small, smooth. 47-50 in longitudinal series.

Head and body grey-brown; body with a series of 5 irregular dark bars, 1st under front of dorsal fin, last on end of tail base; head with dark brown mottling; eye brown; rear 2/3 of top jaw whitish, divided by a blackish bar; inside of mouth pale, with a black-brown blotch at rear of both jaws, yellow behind that on top jaw; operculum with irregular whitish blotches; base of pectoral white; dorsal fin with lower 2/3 white, a large oval black , white ringed blotch at front, followed by 2 brown to black blotches along the base of the spiny fin and 2 oblique brown bars on soft fin, outer part of fin yellow, edge of spiny fin brown; tail fin with pale brown base, yellow rear 1/3; anal fin with whitish base, rest of fin yellow to yellow-brown; pelvics yellow; pectorals clear.

Reaches 5.7 cm.

Depth: 152 m.

Soft bottoms adjacent to reefs.

Roatana and Curacao.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Brooded
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Antilles endemic
  • Caribbean endemic
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 5.7
Depth Range Min
  • 152
Depth Range Max
  • 152